A 22-year-old Kenyan man was found in the wheel well of a cargo plane that had traveled from South Africa to the Netherlands, Dutch police said Monday.
The man, whose identity was not released, was discovered hiding after the plane touched down Sunday at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, police said in a statement.
“The man is doing well considering the circumstances and has been taken to a hospital,” police said.
The airplane, a Boeing 747 cargo jet, had originated in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to the airport website.
The plane made stops in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Nairobi, Kenya, before flying to Amsterdam, according to flight-tracking website Flight Aware.
It’s unclear whether the man snuck into the landing gear in South Africa or Kenya.
Flight Aware’s records show the plane maintaining an altitude of over 30,000 feet for the flight.
“This is definitely very unusual that someone was able to survive the cold at such a height – very, very unusual,” Joanna Helmonds, a spokesperson for the Dutch Royal Marechaussee, a national police force, told Reuters.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the agency said the man had applied for asylum in the Netherlands. Police added that they were investigating the man’s trip as a possible case of human smuggling.
Monday’s incident is not the first time a stowaway has risked a high-altitude demise for the chance to emigrate. Last November, a man survived brutally freezing temperatures when he hid in the wheel well of a plane bound to Miami from Guatemala.
With Post wires