Stowaway From Ethiopia Found at Dulles – By Martin Weil (Washington Post)

June 8th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

A stowaway who apparently hid aboard a flight from Ethiopia to Washington was found in the plane’s baggage hold by workers at Dulles International Airport, authorities said last night. (more…)

A stowaway who apparently hid aboard a flight from Ethiopia to Washington was found in the plane’s baggage hold by workers at Dulles International Airport, authorities said last night.

As baggage handlers unloaded the Ethiopian Airlines flight Saturday morning, they spotted an arm protruding from between luggage pallets, officials said.

At that point, the workers “went in” to the hold of the Boeing 767 and found the stowaway, who was dehydrated and exhausted, said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Steve Sapp.

After what officials called an extremely rare incident, the man was taken into federal custody. But after checking databases, Sapp said, officials decided that the man presented no threat.

“He was just a gentleman who tried to travel to the United States . . . illegally,” Sapp said.

The flight, which originated in Addis Ababa, made a stop in Rome before flying on to Dulles. But Sapp said authorities are “pretty sure he got on in Ethiopia” and was probably in the luggage compartment “the whole time.”

The man, who was not named but was described as 36 or 37 years old, was taken by airport ambulance to a hospital for treatment and then returned to the airport. He remained in federal custody last night in preparation for being sent back to Ethiopia.

In describing attempts to enter the United States illegally, Sapp said, arrivals by sea are far more common.

“We don’t normally see too many people stow away on airplanes,” he said.

Security precautions at airports are intended to prevent unauthorized persons from access to airliners.

In the Saturday incident, although the man reached this country, “the process worked,” because he was quickly picked up, Sapp said.

In January 2008, two men stowed away on another Ethiopian Airlines flight and were found at Dulles after an inspection. A news report said they had probably hidden in the cabin ceiling.

News accounts of people who have attempted to stow away in airliners’ wheel wells indicate that most have not survived.

A news account in 2007 said there had been 74 incidents in the previous 60 years of people trying to stow away in wheel wells on 64 flights. Sixty of the 74 reportedly died.

However, in 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that a wheel-well stowaway who survived a 7 1/2 hour flight to Los Angeles from French Polynesia was recovering.

In contrast to wheel wells, airliner cargo holds are pressurized and heated, and provide a relatively benign environment, according to a study published in 2002.

In 2003, a man described as a former shipping clerk had himself sent by air from New York to Dallas inside a wooden shipping crate.

In the Dulles case, Sapp said the man would face an administrative, not a criminal, charge.

Sapp said the man will be sent back on an Ethiopian Airlines plane.


  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    ሰላም የብዛላችሁ

  2. ይሁን
    | #2

    he runs out of hell and you American authorities are cutting him dead? That is not fair by any standard. He must be allowed to stay in USA and apply for asylum. Please guys help this poor and desperate person. Mind you he is going back for torture and even worse.

  3. ካናዳዊው
    | #3

    ሃገር ቤት ሲመለስ ሞት ወይም የዘላለም ባርነት ነው የሚጠብቀው:: እዚሁ የሂዩማን ራይት ጠበቃ ለማግኘት ቢችል በጣም ጥሩ ነው:: ዲሲ አካባቢ የኢትዮፕያ ማሕበር ቢረዱት የተሻለ ነው::

    መላካም እድል እንመኛለን::

  4. Mann enmrT
    | #4

    እዚህ ዱላ ቀረሽ ሙግት ላይ ነን::አየር መንገዱ ይህንንም ሰው ጭምር ለአደጋ በማጋለጡ ሊከሰስ ይገባዋል:አይገባውም በሚል ክርክሩ ጦፏል::
    ይህች እንኳ ቀልድ ነች::ሰይጣንም እንዲሰማት አንፈልግም::
    ግን አንድ የሕግ ጥያቄ ላቀርብ ተገድጃለሁ::ለዚህ መነሾ የሆነኝ አንድ በተደጋጋሚ የሚገጥመኝ ነገር ነው::
    በተለይም በተለይም በዚህ በዘመኑ ሚዲያ ላይ አንድ ኢትዮጵያዊ አንድ ነገር መፈጸሙ ሲነገር በአንባቢያን የሚሰጠው “ፍርድ” ነው::
    “ምንም ርህራሄ አያስፈልገውም…ይፈለጥ..ይቆረጥ…ይሰቀል…ይቃጠል…ይበለት እንደዶሮ…እሥር ቤት ይበስብስ…ይህ ሰይጣን …ዲያብሎስ…” የሚሉት እና የመሳሰሉትን መስማት የተለመደ ነው::
    በምድር ላይ የሚስተካከለው ወንጀለኛ እንደሌለ ተቆጥሮ ይህ ሁሉ ሲወርድበት ያ ሰው የተባለውን ድርጊት ሲፈጽም የነበረበትን የአ’እምሮና የአካል …ሁኔታ…ብቻውን…በገዛ ፈቃዱ ተነሳስቶ ስለመፈጸሙ….ከሁሉም በላይ የሚያሳዝነው ያ ተፈጸመ የተባለው ድርጊት በሀገሪቱ ሕገ-መንግሥት ወስጥ መጠቀሱና በቀጥታ የሚመለከተው አንቀጽ መኖሩ እንኳ ሳይ መረመር መሆኑና በርግጥም መፈጸሙ በውል ሳይረጋገጥ ያዙን ሊቀቁን የሚሉ ራስ ሾም “ዳኞት” መራወጥ ነው::
    ጥያቄዬ ግልጽ ካልሆነላችሁ ለመሆኑ ይህ ሰው ፈጸመ ለተባለው ድርጊት በግልጽ የተቀመጠ ሕግ አለወይ?
    አንድ ወቅት (አሁን አላስታውሰውም) አንድ በሕግ ውስጥ በግልጽ ወንጀል ስለመሆኑ ወንም ስለአለመሆኑ ያልተጠቀሰ ግን የተፈጸመ ጉዳይን አስመልክቶ ሲወራ የሰማሁት ነበር:: ድርጊቱ ሺህ ጊዜ የብዙዎችን ቁጣ ቢያስከትልም ዳኞች ፈጻሚውን በነጻ ለማሰናበት ወይንም “የመሰላቸውን” ሊያደርጉ እንደሚችሉ እና ከዚያ ወዲያ ግን በዳኛ የተወሰደው እንድሕግ ሆኖ እንደሚወጣ: በነጻ ክሸኙት ደግሞ ተጠንቶ ውሳኔ እንደሚሰጥበት ነበር የገባኝ (ለወደፊቱ ቢፈጸም)::
    ብዙዎቻችን በም’ዕራባውያን ከተሞች ውስጥ ላለፉት 4 አሥርት አመታት “የሕግ የበላይነት ይከበር! ሰብ’አዊ መብት ይከበር!ዲሞክራሲ!…….!” እያልን ስንጮህ ነበርን::አሁንም እንጮሃለን::
    ለመሆኑ የመፈክሮቻችንን ይዘቶች በርግጥ እናውቃለን?????
    የዘመኑ ፈደል ቆጠር ሁሉ ዳኛ ሆነኮ ወንድሞችና እህቶች!
    ከአባቶች እንደሚነገረው ከሆነ ያገር ሽማግሌዎች ደም የተቃቡ ወገኖችን በባህላዊዉ መንገድ ሲያስታርቁ እንደነበር ነው::

  5. seattle
    | #5

    I’ll be mad if they send this guy back 2 da slavery !
    God of Israel be with U.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Pleas The America Goverment Help him made a big risk and not dead , god
    love him . When he return he don`t have any chanc.

  7. imeru tessema
    | #7

    please help all ethiopian coumminty to stay in usa he allready sufferd in the cargo any ethiopian loyer please help our brother

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