Not long ago, several media outlets wrote about the tragic story of a child whose body was found in the wheel well of an Air France plane at Charles de Gaulle Airport. He was discovered as a stowaway who perished after flight AF703, out of Ivory Coast, had landed in Paris.
The child was recently identified as 14-year-old Laurent-Barthélémy Ani Guibahi. And his dream, like that of many young people of Ivory Coast, was to migrate to Europe.
Unfortunately, the way he tried to fulfill that dream had deathly consequences – he’s believed to have died of hypothermia, lack of oxygen, or both. And now the government is working on preventative measures so such a tragedy will hopefully never happen again.
Laurent Barthélémy was a student at Simone Gbagbo high school. He was a smart boy and was especially good in math and physics. But he had dreams that he shared with his friends – he wanted to leave his poor town in Ivory Coast, travel to Europe and become a great footballer (soccer player). So he packed a bag and instead of walking to school one day, he walked the 30 kilometers from his town to Felix Houphouet-Boigny Airport, in the district of Adjouffou.
The surveillance video shows someone dressed in a T-shirt near the tarmac. The Minister of Transport reports it’s felt he climbed a wall to enter the airport, then hid in some bushes until the plane was ready to take off, when he ran and hid in the wheel well.
His bag was found on the tarmac. One of his belongings was a T-shirt from his school, which was a lead in how investigators were eventually able to identify him.
His family, of course, is crushed. His high school is using him as an example for other students to not try the same thing, and to find their happiness at home. And the government is doing its part, as well; effective immediately they’ll be creating a security buffer zone around the airport, in the form of a 200-meter wide strip around the airport fence.
I would love to believe that a tragedy like this will never happen again.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually about 3 or 4 times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 10,000+ members and we have 10,000+ members and where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary