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Thursday 4 July 2019

Dead body lands in Clapham. The strangest of travel stories.

John Baldock was enjoying some rare British sunshine, sunbathing in the backyard of his home in Clapham Common, a suburb of south London.

But Baldock's relaxation was rudely interrupted earlier this week when the frozen body of man fell from the sky and landed right next to him - just a metre away.

The body hit the ground with such an impact that it dislodged paving, creating a crater in the yard.

It is believed the body may belong to an airport worker, most likely a stowaway, as it fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to London Heathrow.

A spokesman for the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said it was “likely” the body was that of an employee at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, from where the plane took off.

“Whoever it is most likely had access to the airside because with the way security is tight, it’s unlikely that an outsider would have been able to make his way through to the airside where an aeroplane is parked and be able to climb in,” director general Gilbert Kibe told media.

British police have sent the dead man’s fingerprints to authorities in Nairobi to try to identify him, Kenyan media reported.

Neighbours previously described hearing the frozen body crash into the garden.

“I heard a ‘whomp’ – I went upstairs to look out of a window. At first I thought it was a tramp asleep in the garden,” one neighbour told The Sun newspaper.

“He had all of his clothes on and everything. I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden. His head was not in a good way. I realised immediately that he had fallen.

“One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block."

Tim McKean, another witness, was in his garden when a “black streak” shot over his head and crashed metres away.

It is believed the body fell as as the plane lowered its wheels before landing at Heathrow after a nine-hour journey. A bag, water and food were later found in the landing gear.

Metropolitan Police said officers were still working to establish the man’s identity.

Software engineer Baldock, meanwhile, was said be suffering from shock after his narrow escape and fled to his parents' home in Devon.

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