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Algeria arrests 10 over man found in plane landing gear

Algeria arrests 10 over man found in plane landing gear
Source: Pixabay

An Algerian court said Monday authorities had taken 10 police officers into custody over the case of a man found near death in the landing gear of a plane.

The man was found on December 28 at Orly airport in Paris, suffering from severe hypothermia after he snuck into the landing gear of an Air Algerie flight from Oran in western Algeria.

The court said in a statement that an investigation was opened Sunday against the 10 officers who have been placed in pre-trial detention for “involuntary offences endangering the lives of people on board the aircraft and of others”.

An Air Algerie mechanic is also under investigation, the court said.

The Algerian interior ministry on Monday sacked its national police chief, Farid Bencheikh, without indicating whether his dismissal was related to the incident.

The unidentified man, believed to be in his 20s, was found during technical checks after the Air Algerie flight had landed from Oran.

He had no ID on him and was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

According to US Federal Aviation Administration data cited in media reports, 132 people — known in the industry as wheel-well stowaways — tried to travel in the landing gear compartments of commercial aircraft between 1947 and 2021.

In July 2022, the bodies of two men were found in a plane at the Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers.

In March of the same year, local media reported that a 16-year-old boy landed safely in France after hiding in the storage compartment during a flight from Constantine, in eastern Algeria.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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