Ethiopian Stowaways Land at Dulles Airport
ABC News / January 24, 2008
Two Ethiopian stowaways were found after an 18-hour flight landed at Dulles International Airport Wednesday morning.
According to U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Ethiopian Airlines flight 500 departed Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stopped in Rome, Italy, and landed at Dulles International around 9:30 a.m. The two adult male passengers were found by a security gaurd, hiding in the ceiling of the kitchen galley after the passengers disembarked the plane. They had no plane tickets or bags and were wearing Ethiopian Airlines uniforms and I.D. badges.
Ethiopian Airlines Officials at Dulles Airport are refusing to comment on the incident.
Officials though, believe the men did not intend on harming anyone. The two men have requested asylum.
Stowaways Discovered On Ethiopian Airlines Plane At Dulles Airport
- Two Ethiopian maintenance workers apparently stowed away in the ceiling of a trans-Atlantic flight that landed at Dulles International Airport from Addis Ababa
- The two men were both wearing Ethiopian Airlines uniforms, including identification badges
- They are seeking asylum and are currently in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody
- Ethiopia is one of few countries from Africa with FAA's Category 1 designation which meets ICAO standards
Stowaways Discovered On Plane At Dulles Airport
Source: WUSA 9 DULLES AIRPORT, Va. (WUSA)
-- Investigators are looking into what can only be described as a major security breach.
Two stowaways were discovered Wednesday on an Ethiopian Airlines flight that landed at Dulles International Airport.
Even so, the regional director for Ethiopian Airlines says security at Addis Ababa Airport, where the two men got on-board is one of the tightest in the world.
A spokesman says the two men who hid themselves in the ceiling of the aircraft appear to be Ethiopian Nationals, part of a cleaning crew that cleaned the plane just before take-off.
It's unclear what their intentions were but some passengers suspected they wanted to come to the United States for a better life.
With no answers as to how the men went undiscovered for 36 hours, including a stop-over in Rome, a security expert told 9NEWS NOW, "If you can store human bodies, you can certainly store a bomb or put weapons on board." Larry Johnson says the TSA and FAA should demand better security measures by airlines overseas or suspend flying privileges in the U.S.
At last check, the two stowaways were in the custody of Customs and Border Control. No one returned our phone calls when we attempted to seek information about their status or any charges they may face.
Written by Nancy Yamada