Two unidentified foreigners fell from a plane and died near Shanghai's Pudong International Airport yesterday, police said.
At around 11 a.m., police in the city's Laogang area found the bodies of two white men, both about 30 years old, a few minutes after receiving a call from locals, said Cai Jun, one of the first police officers to arrive on the scene.
"One of them fell onto a small bush and another fell into a house after going through the roof," Cai said.
Witnesses said they saw the men dropping from the bottom of a plane flying for Pudong Airport.
Police said they suspected the two men were stowaways who hid in the baggage hold and fell when the plane opened its landing gear.
The skin of each man was obviously frostbitten, Cai said.
Air France flight AF112 from Paris took off from Charles de Gaulle International Airport on Wednesday and arrived at Pudong Airport at around 11 a.m. yesterday, according to an employee at the airport's information desk.
No passenger on the flight was missing, said Zhuang Ying, public-relations manager with Air France's Shanghai office.
The same plane was due to take off at 11.45 a.m. to fly to Paris as Air France flight AF111 and 242 passengers boarded the plane. But the flight was cancelled as police were on board investigating the case of the two men.
One passenger said: "We were already on board, but flight staff told us the flight could not take off because the police found two bodies 15 kilometers away from the airport and on the route that the plane flew along into the airport."
Passengers were told the flight was delayed because of the police investigation and they waited on the Boeing 777 plane for several hours until they were told to get off because the flight had been cancelled, passengers said.
A French passenger on flight AF112 said: "It sounded unbelievable that stowaways intended to sneak into China from France."
Passengers on flight AF111 were very unhappy with the cancellation.
Asked for her views, a French woman in her 20s waiting for her luggage said: "Please ask someone else because I have a big headache now."
A passenger who gave her name as Mrs Zhang said: "I was going to Paris for an exhibition that opens tomorrow, but I am sure to miss it because of the cancellation."
(China Daily January 24, 2003)