body found in landing gear of jet flying in from beirut

The body of a man was found in the landing gear of a Nas Air plane that flew from Beirut and landed at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) early Saturday with 130 people on board.

”The body was discovered shortly after a maintenence team approached it to carry out routine checks and maintenece , ”said Khaled Al-Khaibari, spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

”GACA has launched an investigation into the incident and is trying to identifythe dead man ,” he added.

Al Khaibari said the body has been taken to the airport’s hospital for autopsy.

A Nas Air source said there is no evidence to indicate that the plane’s pilot or crew knew that a person was approaching the plane at take-off. He, however, could not say what the cause of death was ans how the man was able to approach the speeding plane on the runway with a backpack whwn the flight was about to take-off.

Ghazi Aridi , Lebanon’s minister of transport , ha salso oredered an inquiry into the incident. According to some reports , passengers saw a man with a backpack running toward the plane before it took off from Beirut.

”Any human being can be killed by the speeding wheel of a plane or wheel sheltering inside or along the tires, which are made of rubber, facric and steel,” said Aviation expert Nick Kevin. He added that there is possibility that the person would have come in contact with the whwwl” and got killed instantly.

Arab news tried to contact Nas Air’s official spokesman, Waleed Mohammed Al-Shaikh, director of the airline’s marketing and communication . His mobile phone was switched off.

Nas Air operates 14 flights every week from Beirut to Riyadh and Jeddah. The airline began flights to and from Beirut in July 2008.

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