A stowaway traveler from South Africa who was found on a cargo plane in Amsterdam has been transferred to a hospital and is “doing well under the circumstances,” according to authorities in the European country.
The 22-year-old man was found “alive in the wheel section of a plane” that landed in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport from Nairobi, Kenya.
The authorities are investigating to check whether this was a case of migrant smuggling and scrutinizing the man’s 11-hour-long travel route.
In a Twitter post, Amsterdam's Royal Military police revealed that the 22-year-old had applied for asylum.
A spokesperson for freight carrier Cargolux confirmed in an email to Reuters that the stowaway had been on a flight operated by Cargolux Italia.
“We are not in a position to make any further comment until the authorities and the airline have completed their investigation,” they said.
The only Cargolux freight flight arriving at Schiphol on Sunday was a Boeing 747 freighter that travelled from Johannesburg and made a stop in Nairobi, Kenya, according to Schiphol’s website and flight tracking data.
A spokesperson for the airport declined to answer questions from Reuters about the incident.
Late in 2021, a Guatemalan stowaway hidden in the landing gear compartment of an American Airlines jet survived a flight from his home country to Miami, where he was turned over to US immigration officials and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
In another instance, a woman with a history of stowing away on airliners was arrested in early 2021 for attempting to sneak onto a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, authorities said.