Body of stowaway from Africa tested for Ebola after dying aboard US air force plane

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 9:22pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 9:22pm

The body of a young stowaway was found inside a compartment near the wheel well of a United States air force cargo jet that had landed in Germany, US military officials said, triggering questions about the security of an aircraft that had made several stops in Africa.

The boy's remains were tested for infections amid the worst Ebola outbreak in history in West Africa, but the tests proved negative.

Air force personnel found the boy's body on Sunday night after spotting an orange cloth in a small opening by the landing gear during a detailed inspection of the C-130J aircraft when it landed at Ramstein air base. When they tugged on the wet cloth, they discovered it was attached to a boy in the compartment, officials said.

The Pentagon's press secretary, navy rear admiral John Kirby, said on Tuesday that the stowaway was a black male who may have been of African origin. The plane was on a routine mission in Africa and had made stops in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and a naval air station in Sicily before arriving at Ramstein.

The body was turned over to German authorities for an autopsy.

Associated Press