Body of Boy Found in Air Force Plane's Wheel Well

Stowaway dead, apparently after trip from Africa to Germany

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 29, 2014 4:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – No stowaway miracles this time: The body of an adolescent black male was found hidden in the wheel well of a C-130 US Air Force aircraft that landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, reports Stars and Stripes. It's not clear who the boy is or where he snuck onto the plane, but one US official says the best guess is that he got on in either Mali or Chad, reports NBC News. Wherever it was, the youth evaded a routine pre-flight check but was discovered in a more thorough safety check that occurred at the end of the plane's eight-day mission.

During those eight days, the plane stopped in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia, and Italy, reports CNN. Authorities tested the body for communicable diseases and found none, a standard procedure but one of special concern given the Ebola outbreak in Africa. "The cause of death, as well as the other circumstances surrounding this incident, remains under investigation," says a Pentagon spokesman. He added that the plane is a rugged one designed to land in "austere locations" where security isn't always great. (Click to read about how the teen who survived a flight from California to Hawaii recalled being above the clouds.)

File photo of a C-130 sitting on an airport tarmac.
File photo of a C-130 sitting on an airport tarmac.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith/Pool)
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