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Acsa working with British authorities on stowaway death

A stowaway reportedly plunged to his death on Thursday as the plane approached Heathrow Airport.

FILE: The second suspected stowaway is currently being treated at a London hospital under police guard. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) says it's working together with police and British authorities to establish the facts after reports that two stowaways managed to fly to London from Johannesburg by clinging to the undercarriage of an aircraft.

One man reportedly plunged to his death on Thursday as the plane approached Heathrow Airport.

The second suspected stowaway is reported to be in a serious condition in a London hospital and is being treated under police guard.

Authorities are hoping the suspect who survived will be able to provide insight into the reasons behind the drastic measure to leave South Africa.

Acsa says it takes the claims very seriously and has admitted that this is a security related matter.

Spokesperson Collin Naidoo says it's tragic.

"For people to actually believe that they can get onto an aircraft and get out of the country that way. It is a very hideous issue we have to find out how exactly that happened and why it happened."

Officials say the two stowaways managed to sneak onto the under-carriage of flight BA0054 on Wednesday evening where they hid in the wheel recess.

They apparently had to withstand temperatures as low as 50 degrees below freezing point for 11 hours while clinging to the Boeing 747.

British Airways meanwhile says it is sparing no efforts to establish exactly what happened.

ACSA says this is a very severe situation which has prompted a close collaboration with both local and British authorities.

Naidoo says while there are always personnel patrolling the grounds and working cameras, security may need to be bolstered.