MIAMI: US border officials in Miami said on Sunday they had apprehended a 26-year-old man who had stowed away in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala.

“The individual was evaluated by Emergency Medical Services and taken to a hospital for medical assessment,” said a statement from a US Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

There was no immediate information on the man’s identity or condition, though the risk of falling and the extreme cold at high altitude pose grave dangers.

The American Airlines flight from Guatemala lasted nearly three hours, the Miami Herald reported.

It posted a video showing a thin, bedraggled looking man sitting shakily on the tarmac near the plane’s landing gear as airport staff tried to help him.

In February 2018, two stowaways fell to their death from an airplane as it took off from an airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador on a flight to New York.

And during this summer’s chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a number of stowaways appeared to fall to their death from the undercarriage of airplanes evacuating people from Kabul airport.

“Persons are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces such as an aircraft,” the Customs and Border Patrol statement said.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2021

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