Investigators say stowaway likely died before falling from plane

April 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

LONDON, April 25 (UPI) -- Experts say a man found dead on a London street was likely a stowaway on an airplane and "very close to the point of death" or dead before he hit the ground.

The body of Jose Matada was found on the pavement in East Sheen, a London suburb, on the morning on Sept. 9, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Investigators said they believed Matada, originally from Mozambique, stowed away inside the landing gear of a British Airways flight from Angola and fell from the plane as its landing gear was deployed for its descent into Heathrow airport.

At an inquest into Matada's death, Robert Chapman, a Home-Office-registered consultant forensic pathologist who examined Matada's body, testified it was unlikely Matada would have survived the 12-hour trip.

"In my view he was either very close to the point of death or, indeed, dead when he struck the ground," Chapman said.

Coroner Sean Cummings labeled Matada's death accidental.

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