Today, 11 years ago, a severed human leg drops off SAA plane


A human leg was dropped from a South African Airways (SAA) aircraft as it was preparing to land at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Pam Hearne, the owner of the house on which the leg fell, said she heard something hitting the top of the garage roof before bouncing into the backyard.

Upon her arrival in the backyard she found a leg lying on the grass. More human remains were found inside the wheel well of the aircraft after it landed at the airport. The aircraft had flown from Johannesburg, via Dakar, Senegal.

South African Airways issued a statement saying it had “a stowaway situation where remains of a human body were discovered in the wheel-well of an SAA aircraft bound for New York out of Dakar, Senegal last night”.

In another similar incident in 2007, Andrei, a 15-year-old boy from the Urals in Russia, suffered acute frostbite after hiding inside the wing of a Boeing-737 plane on a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow, Russia. After daring the entire 1300-kilometer flight to Vnukovo Airport, the boy collapsed onto the tarmac. According to reports his arms and legs were so severely frozen to a point that rescuers were unable to remove his coat and shoes.

Source: South African History Online

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