A man who couldn’t afford a plane ticket to visit the woman he loved froze to death after stowing away in the landing gear bay of a passenger jet.
The Daily Mail reported that Turkish man Hikmet Komur, 32, died after being exposed to temperatures as low as -60C during the British Airways flight from Istanbul to London in July, 2013.
Staff at Heathrow Airport discovered his body and the West London Coroner’s Court was reportedly told that he had suffered fatal brain damage from the extreme cold.
He was wearing a woolen hat and socks over his hands, The Express reported.
According to the inquest, divorced father Komur was attempting to visit his London-based friend Luisa de Silva, who had visited him in Turkey two months before his death.
He wanted her to move to Istanbul but she refused and was reportedly sending him money to help him make ends meet.
“He said he was going to get a visa and come here. Then he sent me a picture of his passport. I knew it was not real,” de Silva reportedly told the inquest.
She tried to dissuade him from making the journey.
Komur’s death was ruled accidental, with coroner Jeremy Chipperfield saying it was “very likely” that Komur intended to come to the UK by hiding in the plane’s undercarriage.
“It’s unclear how he got into that wheel bay but the evidence strongly suggests that it was voluntary. My conclusion is that this was an accidental death,” he was quoted as saying.
Komur is certainly not the first person to attempt a risky wheel bay journey with disastrous consequences.
In July last year, the body of a boy was found in a compartment near the wheel well of a US Air Force cargo plane that had landed in Germany.
A month earlier, a body was discovered in the wheel well of a KLM plane at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.
Remarkably, a 15-year-old boy managed to survive a five-hour flight between California and Hawaii while stowed in the wheel well, baffling doctors.