By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), says it has initiated investigation to determine the identity of the dead stowaway found in South Africa on an Arik Air flight.
Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, told our correspondent that the authority would take necessary action after the investigations were concluded.
Adurogboye said the investigation was with the collaboration of Arik Air and the South African Authorities.
“The matter is still being investigated and decision will be taken after.
“The investigation is being carried out by NCAA through the active involvement of the airline itself and with the authorities in South Africa,’’ he said.
Also, the Acting General Manager, Public Affairs of FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, said that the authorities were yet to establish the identity of the stowaway.
Yakubu explained that information available to the authority suggested that the said body was already decomposed.
According to her, it was possible that a body could decompose in a six hour flight.
“Whatever the case, there is an investigation going on and that is why we cannot pre-empt the outcome.
“We have asked Arik to investigate to be able to determine where the stowaway boarded the flight from.
“It has not been established whether the deceased is a Nigerian or not until the investigation is over and the facts are determined,’’ she said.
Arik’s Communication Manager, Mr Ola Adebanji, said that the airline had no further information on the dead stowaway until it concluded investigation.
NAN reports that a lifeless body of a stowaway was discovered on Wednesday in the main wheel well of Arik’s A330-200 aircraft at the Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.
The airline, had in a statement on Wednesday, confirmed that the aircraft departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 3.55 pm on Tuesday and arrived at Johannesburg shortly before 11.00 pm.
It said the engineers of South African Airways Technical facility at the airport, where the aircraft was scheduled for a routine maintenance check, discovered the body of the stowaway during the inspection phase.
The airline said investigations were ongoing to determine how the stowaway found his way into the aircraft main wheel well.
It could be recalled that since 2013 till date, no fewer than four cases of stowaways were recorded in the nation’s airports.