Two bodies found in undercarriage of Avianca airplane in Bogota


  • World
  • Sunday, 08 Jan 2023

FILE PHOTO: A logo of aviation company Avianca is seen on the headquarters building Bogota, Colombia, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino/File Photo

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The bodies of two young men, who were possibly from the Dominican Republic, were found in the undercarriage of an Avianca airplane during maintenance in Colombian capital Bogota, the airline and the attorney general's office of Colombia said on Saturday.

"At its arrival to the El Dorado airport in Bogota, personnel from the airline discovered the bodies of two people who flew irregularly (stowaways) in the undercarriage of the airplane," Avianca said in a statement, adding the discovery was made on Friday evening.

Avianca expressed sympathy for the families of the two people and added that though it inspects airplanes before every flight, the security of airports and their restricted areas is the responsibility of authorities.

"The technical investigation body of the attorney general's office is carrying out urgent actions to identify the nationality and origin of the bodies aged between 15 and 20, Afro-descendent, which were found inside the airplane," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Though no identification documents were found with the bodies, one was carrying currency from the Dominican Republic and a suitcase found with the men had paperwork from that country.

Those discoveries "infer that the men could have been on the plane since January 3," when it was last in the Dominican Republic, the office said.

The plane was last given regular maintenance on Dec. 27, the attorney general's office added, and has since traveled to Bogota, Guarulhos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago.

The bodies had been frozen and were partially thawed, the statement added, and one had burns.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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