UK coroner: Man's plane plunge death was accident

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Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 12:34 PM

LONDON (AP) — A British coroner on Thursday delivered a verdict of accidental death in the case of a stowaway who fell from a plane's undercarriage.

The man's body landed in a street in southwest London in September. Months later he was identified as Jose Matada, 26, of Mozambique.

At an inquest, police Det. Sgt. Jeremy Allsup said Matada was identified through a SIM card in his pocket. One number was traced to a woman whose family had employed him in South Africa.

She told police that Matada had expressed an interest in moving to Europe for a better life, Allsup said.

Pathologist Robert Chapman said Matada survived most of the flight from Angola, but might have been killed by hypothermia, lack of oxygen or the plane's landing gear before his body hit the ground.

Coroner Sean Cummings ruled Matada's death an accident.

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