The bodies of two young men have been found in the undercarriage of an Avianca plane during maintenance in Colombian capital Bogota, according to the airline and the attorney general’s office of Colombia.
The bodies were discovered by airline personnel after the plane from Santiago, Chile, landed in Bogota on Friday evening.
“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 plane,” Avianca said in a statement on Saturday.
Avianca expressed sympathy for the families of the two people and added that although it inspects aeroplanes 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.
Although 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, suggesting the men may have been in 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 December 27, the attorney general’s office added, and has since travelled 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.