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HotCorner
06-09-2005, 09:42 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/317027p-271169c.html



Leg falls from African flight onto L.I. garage

BY AUSTIN FENNER and LAURA WILLIAMS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A man's severed leg - with a white Adidas sneaker still attached - plummeted from the sky onto a garage roof and bounced into the backyard of a Long Island home yesterday morning.

Pam Hearne heard "a very loud bang" outside her family's South Floral Park house at 7a.m., but thought little of it and went to work.

It wasn't until she got back home at 10:30 a.m. that she noticed something bizarre out her window.

"There was a human body part back there," she said. "It was rather large."

The leg, hip and chunk of torso apparently fell from the wheel well of a South African jetliner about to land at Kennedy Airport.

When Hearne first saw the leg in the grass, it didn't look real. But authorities assured the special education teacher it wasn't a "cruel joke."

"It was very blackened, as if it had been charred," she said.

The victim, apparently a stowaway, likely crawled into the wheel well of the South African Airways jet in Dakar, Senegal, authorities said.

After taking off from Dakar at 11:40 p.m. New York time, the pilot felt some unusual vibrations. But a diagnostic check turned up nothing unusual, and the flight continued to Queens, said Nassau Police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith.

A customs inspector discovered more human remains - including another leg - in the wheel well after the jet landed, said Port Authority spokesman Tony Ciavolella.

"The body was badly battered, the clothing shredded," Smith said. "And the plane was battered from the body parts."

Floral Park is about 5-1/2 miles from Kennedy - just the spot where a pilot would likely lower the landing gear.

The cause of death was under investigation, pending a medical examiner's report, Ciavolella said.

There have been several cases of airplane stowaways being killed by the extreme cold at high altitude or crushed to death inside aircraft wheel wells.

The landing gear rotates inward as the wheels retract and outward for landing. It was unclear how far the leg fell but the impact dented the shingled roof of the garage.

"I guess it was some poor soul who dreamed to look for his freedom," Hearne said. "I'm hoping he wasn't in much pain."

"He took a chance and he lost," said Anthony Coetzee, 43, of South Africa, who was waiting for a flight home yesterday.

The South African Airways flight to Johannesburg was canceled yesterday.

A letter distributed to passengers by the airline made no mention of the body. It simply said that the jet needed to be repaired because of "some damage to the fuselage."

:eek:

KronoRed
06-09-2005, 09:59 AM
That's so sad :( :(

RedFanAlways1966
06-09-2005, 10:22 AM
"I guess it was some poor soul who dreamed to look for his freedom," Hearne said. "I'm hoping he wasn't in much pain."

"He took a chance and he lost," said Anthony Coetzee, 43, of South Africa, who was waiting for a flight home yesterday.

I agree w/ Krono that it is sad. However... this deadman could have caused great havoc with his illegal stowaway job. Someone on the ground could have been killed by a falling bodypart. He could have caused damage to a wheel on the plane and caused some serious issues when it was time to land. And what freedom is the above-person referencing? Do they have slavery in South Africa these days? What he did is felony crime. I am not sure of the issues in his life that brought him to stowaway, but none justify a felony act.

And how about South African airport security? Geez... after 9-11 and all. People can stowaway in a plane's wheel well. Good thing he was not a suicide bomber type with major explosives strapped to his body that had a detonator. I doubt that Kennedy Airport and NYC needs more havoc. Or any other city in our country or abroad.

Johnny Footstool
06-09-2005, 10:31 AM
"It was very blackened, as if it had been charred," she said.

I don't think there's any way the body could have been charred during the flight. There's nothing in the wheel well that could burn a body -- as the article mentions, a person is a lot more likely to be frozen traveling at altitude. If the body was burned, it would have had to have been foul play, like someone killed the man and stuffed his corpse into the wheel well.

Maybe it was just grease and dirt from the landing gear.

Jaycint
06-09-2005, 10:34 AM
I can think of about 2 or 3 thousand ways I would rather die than by being crushed to death. Ouch!

Red Leader
06-09-2005, 10:35 AM
I don't think there's any way the body could have been charred during the flight. There's nothing in the wheel well that could burn a body -- as the article mentions, a person is a lot more likely to be frozen traveling at altitude. If the body was burned, it would have had to have been foul play, like someone killed the man and stuffed his corpse into the wheel well.

Maybe it was just grease and dirt from the landing gear.


Could be dirt/grease. I don't know how someone would stuff his corpse in the wheel well while the plane was on the ground with the wheels down...you'd think it would have fallen out sometime before take off if that were the case.

westofyou
06-09-2005, 10:36 AM
It's raining men.

Red Leader
06-09-2005, 10:38 AM
It's raining men.

Hallelujah! :laugh:

Redsland
06-09-2005, 10:39 AM
I don't think there's any way the body could have been charred during the flight. There's nothing in the wheel well that could burn a body -- as the article mentions, a person is a lot more likely to be frozen traveling at altitude. If the body was burned, it would have had to have been foul play, like someone killed the man and stuffed his corpse into the wheel well.

Maybe it was just grease and dirt from the landing gear.Doesn't severe frostbite cause a similar appearance?

-------

And I thought the seats were short on leg room!

:party:

Red Leader
06-09-2005, 10:40 AM
Doesn't severe frostbite cause a similar appearance?

-------

And I thought the seats were short on leg room!

:party:


Like freezer-burn??? Possible.

Johnny Footstool
06-09-2005, 11:34 AM
Doesn't severe frostbite cause a similar appearance?

Yeah, I think you're right.


I don't know how someone would stuff his corpse in the wheel well while the plane was on the ground with the wheels down...you'd think it would have fallen out sometime before take off if that were the case.

Duct tape?

Red Leader
06-09-2005, 11:40 AM
Duct tape?

I feel like less of a man for having forgotten that option. :( :D