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Two stowaways died in Ecuador Monday morning after falling from a New York-bound airplane’s landing gear.
LATAM 1438 took off from Jose Joaquin de Olmedo airport in Guayaquil (GYE) at 9:01am with New York (JFK) in its sights. Fox News reports that local police believe the pair likely fainted or were ejected from the aircraft shortly after takeoff.
According to FlightRadar24, the Boeing 767-300 nearly made it to Panama before it diverted back to Guayaquil after the incident.
The bodies were found on the runway, forcing the airport to close for 90 minutes as authorities removed them from the tarmac. El Comercio newspaper reports the two victims were 25 and 30 years old.
“As we approached, we saw two people – one on the runway and the other in the grass area,” local prosecutor Carlos Bustamante told El Comercio. “The first one had a pulse but died minutes later. The other person had died.”
A suitcase fell from the plane which contained $20 and clothes. Although, no identification was found, Bustamante believes the pair could be Peruvian, since the aircraft had come from Peru, and the victims had Peruvian “characteristics.”
In 2014, a 16-year-old boy hid in the landing gear on a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii and survived.
Featured photo by Shutterstock.com
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