WASHINGTON, July 29 The U.S. military has found
the body of an adolescent male trapped in a compartment above
the landing gear of a C-130 aircraft following a trip to Africa,
the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The Pentagon said the body was found at Ramstein Air Base in
Germany during a routine post-flight maintenance inspection on
Sunday. The plane traveled from Germany to Senegal, Mali, Chad,
Tunisia and Sicily before landing in Ramstein on a trip that
lasted just over a week.
"At this point, it is unknown where or when the deceased
entered the landing gear wheel well," Kirby said, describing the
apparent stow-away as "an adolescent black male, possibly of
As concerns swell over an outbreak of the deadly Ebola
disease in several African countries, the military also
confirmed that the body was tested for communicable diseases.
Those tests came up negative.
"The cause of death, as well as the other circumstances
surrounding this incident, remains under investigation," Kirby
said, adding the body had been taken to a German facility for an
Kirby acknowledged that airfield security would be examined
during the investigation but stressed U.S. military C-130s often
land in remote locations around the world.
"The aircraft is a rugged aircraft designed to operate in
austere locations. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody
that security at some of these fields is not going to be at the
same level," Kirby said.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Missy Ryan; editing by David
Storey and Andrew Hay)