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Stowaway found dead: Teen's body pulled from wheel well of US Air Force plane

Body of teen stowaway found in wheel well of US Air Force plane.
Body of teen stowaway found in wheel well of US Air Force plane.
Wikimedia Commons

A teen stowaway has been found dead in the wheel well of a U.S. Air Force plane. The young teen was not found during inspections upon landing at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, but during a later inspection for maintenance purposes at the same base, according to the New York Post on July 30.

While inspecting the plane, an orange piece of cloth was discovered hanging out of a compartment and when the maintenance workers pulled on the cloth, they discovered a body was attached. There was a two-day delay in announcing this death to the public so that the body could go through an autopsy.

As part of the autopsy, the body was checked for communicable diseases, since the plane was on a routine mission in Africa and an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed at least 670 people to date. The boy did not carry the Ebola bacteria.

The plane made stops in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily before arriving back at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The German officials took custody of the body and they did the autopsy, according to the New York Daily News.

The identity of the teen is not known and it is also a mystery as to where the boy slipped into the wheel well, but some officials believe he might have crawled into the compartment in Mali. The teen looks to be of African descent, but they have not identified him as of today.

While the teen was more than likely just a stowaway on his own, this is considered a serious security breach. The air fields that the plane uses in some of the more rural countries do not have the same type of security that is found in the U.S., but the plane is heavily guarded while on the ground in these countries.

An investigation is on-going as to how the boy managed to slip on board unnoticed. This teen was not as lucky as the man from Somali that survived in a wheel well of a jet that left San Jose International Apart in California and landed in Hawaii. The Somali man miraculously survived this flight, which made headlines a while back.