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A man was left “very shaken” after narrowly escaping death as he was sunbathing in London. A frozen corpse suddenly fell out of the sky and landed barely three feet away from him.
John Baldock, a master’s in engineering graduate from Oxford University, was relaxing in the garden of the house he was renting in Clapham, South London when a corpse fell 3,500 feet from a Kenya Airways jet and landed beside him.
The plane was coming from a nine-hour flight from Nairobi and the body fell when the plane opened its landing gear as it approached London Heathrow Airport on Sunday afternoon.
The corpse left a large crater where it had landed and neighbors said it was a miracle that no one on the ground had died. There were hundreds of people who were enjoying the weather at Clapham Common a short distance from the impact site.
Bob Renwick, who was also with Baldock, is a colleague at a firm called Plexi. Neighbors say Renwick was “very shaken” especially with the “blood all over the walls of the garden.”
Of Renwick, a male neighbor said: “He was very shaken. He had been sunbathing and he landed one meter away from him.”
Locals said that they heard a sudden “whomp” a little past 3:30 pm on Sunday.
One female neighbor said: “There was an almighty bang. At first, I thought it was some scaffolding falling down and thought nothing more about it. My husband decided to see what was going on and went upstairs to take a look. He was obviously quite shocked and went out into the street where my neighbor was standing on the phone to the police.
“He was really shaken up. He’d been in the garden when it happened and the body must have landed so close to where he was. My husband came back in and I asked him what was going on and he said, ‘Haven’t you seen the man? The man who fell from the sky?’
“I wondered what he was talking about and went up to see for myself and there in the middle of the lawn was the body of a man.”
One plane spotter even saw the body fall out of the plane and quickly made his way to the scene.
Police were on-site within minutes of the incident and said that the man fell from flight KQ100. According to flight data, the Boeing 787 overflew Offerton Road at 3:36 pm on Sunday at 3,575 feet with an airspeed of nearly 200 mph.
It flew out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 9:19 am local time and touched down at 3:42 pm. A subsequent search of the plane yielded a bag, water, and some food lodged in the plane’s landing gear, airline officials revealed.
The unidentified corpse was in a blue T-shirt and jeans and was undisturbed for five hours before the coroner’s office took it away.
Renwick’s brother said: “We’re here to deal with the aftermath. As far as we know, it was a stowaway on a plane who’s likely to have been in the landing gear, probably already deceased but dropped out when the landing gear was put down and impacted on the back garden.
“It was about 3.30pm. It was just on the patio, part on and part off it. It was a male as far as we know. There was somebody who saw the body fall from a plane and had coincidentally been tracking the plane.
“It was a complete coincidence. He isn’t a plane watcher. I don’t know who he is. He is local. He saw an object fall out from the plane. He couldn’t see it was a body at 4,000 feet. The guy that was tracking the plane thought it was a Kenya Airways flight.”
One of the tenants was even sleeping in the garden when the corpse hit.
He added: “He was in the back garden sleeping. He’s gone back home to his parent’s house. He’s obviously very shaken up. He wasn’t hurt but it was a narrow miss. The garden isn’t very big.
“They are assuming responsibility given the statement of the witness. The house is on the flight path. Almost every plane that comes into Heathrow seems to go overhead. From our point of view, to be honest, we are still in shock about it.”
According to Heathrow Airport, incidents like this happen about once every five years.