Mid this year, Kenya Airways hit the headlines after a stowaway fell off the undercarriage of their Boeing 787 aircraft headed to London from Nairobi minutes before landing at the Heathrow Airport. Little was said about the unidentified man as police were said to be conducting an investigation on the matter.
On Monday, Sky News a British Media outlet in an exclusive investigative segment and article identified the man as Paul Manyasi, a 29-year-old Kenyan who was an employee of Colnet, a cleaning firm contracted by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) He is said to have been earning roughly Ksh 9000, living at Mukuru Kwa Njenga.
“He had hidden in the Boeing 787’s landing compartment and fallen when the wheels were lowered for landing. Still, the stowaway was probably dead before he hit the ground. The plane had spent eight hours at 37,000ft (11,277m), where oxygen levels are thin and the cold is colder than any deep-freeze. Passengers are protected in a pressurized cabin but the stowaway was subjected to the elements. His fate was sealed when he hid away,” read part of the article.
The deceased’s colleague at Colnet, with whom he was alleged to have been in a relationship, confirmed to the British media outlet that he went missing at the end of June, around the same time a body was reported to have dropped off the KQ plane. Back in London, the Metropolitan Police published a computerized image of how the stowaway possibly looked like and, when it was presented to his lover in Kenya, she said they look alike but Paul wasn’t dark, not but the face resembled his.
Local media houses picked up the story putting KenyAirports Authority in the spotlight for casting a blind eye on the investigation. The Authority on Tuesday issued a statement to clarify the media report about the stowaway. According to KAA, a security multiagency team conducted investigations on the allegations that the stowaway worked at JKIA and confirmed that Paul Manyasi did not appear in the JKIA staff register and that the name Paul Manyasi did not appear on the Airport Pass Bio Metric Register.
“The identity of the stowaway is open and an active investigation and any information received will be investigated to ensure a factual conclusion,” it read.
We can only hope that KAA spins does something better than publishing a mere statement, and put Paul Manyasi to rest peacefully.