Developing

Flight Path Body 'May Have Fallen From Plane'

Police who discovered the body of a man in residential street in west London are investigating the possibility he may have been a stowaway.

The man, who appeared to have suffered multiple injuries, was discovered by a member of the public in Portman Avenue, Mortlake, on Sunday morning.

The street lies directly under the flight path for Heathrow's south runway

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told Sky News they could not confirm the extent of the man's injuries and whether this was the reason they believed he may have been a stowaway.

Portman Avenue resident Joe Dodd told London's Evening Standard: "When I got up at eight, the body was still on the pavement. They had not moved it.

"We were not allowed out of our house for ages. There were police and ambulances everywhere. From where I was, it looked like he had a head injury of some kind.

"There was loads of blood everywhere, all over the street and on a car."

Tony Dixon, editor of Airliner World magazine, told Sky News that the location of the man's body could be one reason police were pursuing the possibility he may have fallen from a plane.

"Aircraft lower their under-carriage when they're around six miles from landing so the possibility this man may have been a stowaway is a fair assessment and it has happened before," he said.

"Many people assume there is lots of space around the undercarriage when they see it retracted, but it's not a pressurised or heated environment.

"An aircraft's wheels are warm for about an hour or so after take-off so anyone trying to hide there would freeze to death eventually - if they hadn't already died from hypoxia."

A spokeswoman for British Airports Authority confirmed that Heathrow's south runway was being used by flights that were arriving, rather than taking off, from 6am on Sunday morning.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said officers were called to Portman Avenue at 7.55am on Sunday "following reports of a dead body".

She said: "The death is currently being treated as unexplained. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the male's identity."

In 2010 a 20-year-old Romanian was arrested at Heathrow airport after he hid in the undercarriage compartment of a plane from Vienna.

Experts say the man only survived the flight as the private jet flew at  a low altitude to avoid bad weather.