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Man hid in plane’s landing gear from Guatemala to Miami, officials say



On Saturday, a man was discovered after hiding in the landing gear compartment of an American Airlines jet flying from his home country of Guatemala to Miami. He was then turned over to US immigration officials and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The US customs and border protection (CBP) agency confirmed the story in a statement cited by a Miami television station. The station posted a video of the man taken shortly after the plane landed on Saturday at the Miami international airport.

In the footage, the stowaway appeared to be dazed but otherwise unharmed, as he was sitting on the tarmac next to the plane dressed in blue jeans, a T-shirt, jacket, and boots. Crew members tended to him and asked if he wanted water. 

The statement put out by the CBP said, “US customs and border protection (CBP) officers at Miami international airport apprehended a 26-year-old man who attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala Saturday morning.”

It continued, “The individual was evaluated by emergency medical services and taken to a hospital for medical assessment. This incident remains under investigation.” According to Angel Leal, an immigration attorney, the Guatemalan man would be detained by CBP while facing an expedited removal order.

Over the past year, 1.7 million migrants have been apprehended or expelled by US border agents, and Guatemala has accounted for a large portion of those migrants, many of whom are Central Americans allegedly fleeing gangs and poverty.

The Federal Aviation Administration had no comment regarding the stowaway, but according to the FAA, 129 people have tried to hide in the wheel wells or other areas of commercial aircraft globally since 1947. Of those, 100 have died of injuries or exposure.

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