Two presumed stowaways died Monday in Ecuador after they fell from the landing gear of a New York-bound plane. The airport in the coastal city of Guayaquil had to close for 90 minutes while the two bodies were removed from the runway.
Local prosecutor Carlos Bustamante said the incident occurred around 9:20 a.m. when employees at the airport spotted three objects falling from the plane.
“As we approached, we saw two people – one on the runway and the other in the grass area,” he told El Comercio newspaper. “The first one had a pulse, but died minutes later. The other person had died.”
He said the third item that fell from the plane was a suitcase, which contained about $20 and clothes. No identification for the two men were found.
Police wouldn't reveal the nationality or identities of the two individuals, but said they likely fainted or were ejected after takeoff. The Latam-operated flight continued its journey, although authorities said the aircraft may be required to return to Ecuador to assist with the investigation.