A photo of Paul Munyasi, the stowaway who fell off a KQ 787 plane’s landing compartment to his death in London on June 30, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY
BY MKARIMU MEDIA
British media house Sky News has identified the Kenyan stowaway who fell from a Kenya Airways (KQ) plane moments before it landed at London’s Heathrow Airport in June 30, 2019.
Sky News has now identified the man as 29-year-old Paul Manyasi.
About four months after the man fell from the sky, London police released an e-fit image of the stowaway in hunt for his identity.
Pictures of a bag that was found in the compartment and its contents were also released.
“This has been a very sad incident to investigate. This man has a family somewhere, who need to know what happened to their loved one,” a British police officer said while releasing the images.
“Our investigations has included liaison with the authorities in Kenya, from where the flight took off, but so far our efforts to identify this man have proved fruitless. I hope by releasing this e-fit someone known to the deceased will recognise him and make contact.”
In a compelling investigative piece, Sky news has identified the Kenyan stowaway as Paul Manyasi, who worked as a cleaner for Colnet, one of companies providing services to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Sky News says it reached out to a number of current and former Colnet staff and met several of them, including a woman named Irene (not her real name), who revealed that her colleague and lover went missing at the end of June.
Irene said she last saw him on the morning of June 30 while they were working together at the airport.
She said: “I called his phone and it was off. When we came in the morning the following day the supervisor called us and told us there is somebody missing.”
The woman recognised Mr Manyasi’s facial features from the e-fit and confirmed the possessions looked like ones he had owned.
“Yes, this bag is his,” she confirmed.
MCA (Member of the County Assembly) was Paul’s nickname and he liked it.
The man was thought to have been nestled in the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight when he fell from the aircraft and landed just feet away from a sunbather in Clapham on June 30.
Scotland Yard launched an appeal to find the man, including an e-fit and details about the items he was carrying, leading him to be identified by family and friends in Kenya.
The deceased parents confirmed they also saw the likeness in the e-fit and believed the items found by police had belonged to their son.
Paul’s parents are quoted telling the UK media house that no one had contacted them on the demise of their son but were quick to add that they could not afford to bring his body back home for burial.
“Let him stay [in the UK]. Those are too many expenses. Soil is just soil,” the father was quoted saying.
A former roommate of the stowaway in the slum of Makuru Kwa Njenga said they had spoken about leaving Kenya.
He told Sky News: “There was another job Paul was seeking. It was not in Kenya.”
Paying tribute to her late partner, with whom she had been for two years, Irene added: “He was just a jovial person. I just liked him the way he was. We had agreed one day maybe we could make a family.
“I just feel like I lost someone who I loved so much – yes, I miss him.”
Here’s the Sky News investigative piece: