The dead bodies of two brothers were discovered in the landing gear of an Airbus A330 plane operated by Air Algerie on Saturday. Workers found the grim discovery after being alerted by a third brother who had received a distressing video call from his siblings who were stuck inside the landing gear compartment.
The two brothers, aged 20 and 23, were found by maintenance staff at Algiers International Airport according to local media reports. The aircraft was temporarily impounded as law enforcement started a criminal investigation.
Data from the flight-tracking website Flight Radar 24 shows the seven-year-old aircraft had last landed in Algiers from Paris. It’s not immediately clear when the Algerian brothers had climbed into the landing gear but it appears their intention was to fly to Barcelona.
The reason that Barcelona would be the ideal route is that it is less than an hour flight from Algiers and the aircraft only climbs to around 34,000 feet for a short time.
Although the journey is still perilous, the brothers would have been subjected to the harsh conditions within the landing gear compartment for only a short period. In similar incidents, stowaways have suffered a combination of hypothermia and burns, as well as prolonged hypoxia.
However, in the days leading up to the discovery, the same aircraft had flown for more than six hours to Dubai and back. The flight time to Paris is more than two hours.
Last November, a Guatemalan stowaway managed to survive a more than two-hour. flight in the landing gear compartment of an American Airlines flight from Guatemala City to Miami.
And in January, a man miraculously survived in the landing gear compartment of a plane during a 12-hour flight from South Africa to Amsterdam.
In March, a young Algerian stowaway was discovered in the landing gear of an Air Algerie aircraft after landing in Paris. Video of the incident showed the stowaway to be healthy and talking to the ground staff who discovered him.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.