Mangled Body of Dead Man Found on Airport Runway, Flights Canceled

The mangled body of a man was discovered on the runway at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, Nigeria early on Thursday.

The incident caused the airport to temporarily shut according to a report in Nigerian publication Punch.

During the temporary shutdown, international flights were prevented from landing and taking off from the airport with some being turned away completely.

The man has not yet been identified and an investigation has been launched to discover who he was and how his body came to be on the runway.

Plane
The mangled corpse of man was found on an airport runway in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday, forcing flights to be canceled. Stock image of a plane taking off from an airport. Getty Images

Authorities said the body was found during a routine runway inspection close to a cargo area.

Aviation security expert and former military commandant of MMIA, Group Captain John Ojikutu, spoke to the publication and said the incident highlighted a wider security problem.

"The authorities need to investigate how the man got to the airport," he said.

"Nobody can say much now, but he may have been knocked down by the wingspan or undercarriage of a jumbo jet but it is too early to say anything like that now."

He also questioned the building of homes in the near vicinity of the airport.

"We need to examine the issue of houses that have been built too close to the Lagos airport," he said.

"The rule says no building should be situated less than six metres to the airport structure or fence. However, we have seen cases of people crossing the runway before.

"The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and [Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria] need to investigate this to ascertain what really happened.

"They need to find out the flights that landed before that incident. The current airport perimeter fence is not a security fence and we need to do something about it."

According to the Punch report, there have been multiple security breaches at the airport in recent years.

On December 21, 2021 a speeding vehicle almost collided with a plane attempting to take off from a runway.

This happened just over a week after a similar incident where a jet almost rammed into a malfunctioning car being tested on a runway.

In December 2019 a man was able to mount the wing of a moving plane. He was later arrested by security operatives who were informed by the pilot of the incident.

Newsweek has contacted the Nigerian Police Department and Murtala Muhammed International airport for comment.