Authorities had apprehended a 26-year-old man who had stowed away on an American Airlines flight, which flew from Guatemala to Miami on Saturday. The man had reportedly hidden in the airplane's landing gear compartment throughout the flight.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers had taken the man to a hospital to be examined. The man stowed away onboard American Airlines Flight 1182 from Guatemala City. When it landed at the Miami International Airport, the flight was met with law enforcement officers, who had received calls from the airline of a "security issue."
Border authorities said the man attempted to evade detection by hiding in the plane's landing gear compartment. Officials said he was taking an extreme risk by hiding in such as confined space in the aircraft not meant to house passengers. Officials said they are launching a full investigation into the matter to find out how the man was able to come aboard the aircraft before it took off.
Video of the incident was uploaded by a passenger, showing the man escorted by two officers in yellow vests. The man, who is seen wearing a jacket, jeans, and black boots, appeared to be dizzy. The video also showed the small compartment inside the plane where the landing gear is stowed away during the flight.
The uploader of the video claimed that the footage was taken by a worker at the airport who wanted to remain anonymous. Another video was also uploaded online, showing the man being given water by officers as he sat on the tarmac near the plane's wheels.
Officials said the man likely spent two and a half hours crammed into the small compartment during the flight. He was without water, food, or proper ventilation throughout the journey.
As of February of this year, the Federal Aviation Administration recorded a total of 129 stowaway incidents, where people hid in wheel wells and other areas of commercial flights. According to the agency, 100 people that attempted to stow away on commercial flights had died of injuries or exposure during the flights.
In 2014, a 15-year-old boy had miraculously survived a five-and-a-half-hour flight from California to Hawaii. Authorities said the boy spent most of the flight unconscious in the wheel storage compartment. During the flight, the boy was subjected to freezing temperatures and a low-oxygen environment.
In 2019, a man fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight before arriving at the Heathrow Airport from Kenya. The body of the man landed in the backyard of an hour in southwest London.