Stowaway Found Dead on SF Jet

Tucked in wheel well on frozen flight from Shanghai
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2007 8:37 AM CDT
Stowaway Found Dead on SF Jet
Air France Boeing 747   ((c) ReneS)

The body of a middle-aged Asian man tucked into the wheel well of a United Airlines flight from Shanghai was found shortly after landing at San Francisco Airport yesterday. He is  likely to have died of exposure or asphyxiation during the 11-hour flight, when temperatures can plummet to -40 degrees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The man was dressed in several layers of clothing and carrying a small amount of foreign currency and medication. Investigators are seeking his identity. "Most stowaway attempts end tragically," said an official. "People either freeze to death, are crushed to death, or asphyxiated." Since 1947 there have been 74 known stowaway attempts worldwide; only 14 survived. (More stowaway stories.)

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