First picture of Oxford graduate sunbather who had miracle escape when frozen stowaway plunged 3,500ft from Kenya Airways jet and landed just THREE FEET from him in London garden
- John Baldock was in garden of £2.3m home where he lives in Clapham, London
- Man’s body fell 3,500ft from landing gear of Nairobi to London Heathrow flight
- Neighbours say the body landed just feet from Mr Baldock on Sunday afternoon
- Mr Baldock is a software engineer from Exeter who has a master’s from Oxford
The sunbather who narrowly avoided death when a frozen stowaway migrant fell 3,500ft from a plane and landed just three feet from him in his garden is a Oxford graduate software engineer, MailOnline can reveal today.
John Baldock, who has a master’s degree in engineering from Oxford University, was in the garden of the £2.3million home where he lives in Clapham, South London, when the body of the man plummeted from the Kenya Airways jet.
The corpse fell to the ground as the nine-hour flight from Nairobi approached London Heathrow Airport and opened its landing gear on Sunday afternoon.
Former Oxford University student John Baldock was in the garden of the home
The body landed partly on concrete paving slabs and an astroturf lawn – leaving a massive crater in the garden, which is 13 miles east of Heathrow. Today, the astroturf appeared to have been taken up – and sand placed over the area where the body landed.
Shocked neighbours said it was a miracle no one on the ground died as hundreds of people were enjoying the weather on Clapham Common just a short distance away.
Neighbours said Mr Renwick was ‘very shaken’ by the incident and there was ‘blood all over the walls of the garden’. When the plane landed at Heathrow shortly after, a bag, water and food were discovered in the landing gear compartment.
The force of the body falling from the Kenya Airways plane from Nairobi to London Heathrow dented paving slabs and astroturf in this garden in Clapham, South London
‘His head was not in a good way. I realised immediately that he had fallen, so I went outside and it was just then the neighbour came out and he was very shaken.’
He said a plane-spotter who had been tracking the flight saw the body fall and rushed to the scene.
Police arrived within minutes and identified flight KQ100 as the plane the man fell from. Flight data shows the Boeing 787 passed over Offerton Road at 3.36pm on Sunday at 3,575ft and travelling at nearly 200mph.
It left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 9.19am local time and arrived at 3.42pm. Airline officials said a bag, water and a stash of food were found in the plane’s landing gear after a subsequent search.
The corpse, which was wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans, remained at the scene for five hours before being taken away by the coroner’s office.
Mr Baldock, who is originally from Exeter, Devon, is a tenant at the mid-terrace property. The home is owned by Bob Renwick, his colleague at a firm called Plexi who is also a software engineer.
Mr Baldock has also worked as a developer for Ticketmaster. He achieved highly at school with four A-levels – A*s in maths and physics and As in biology and chemistry.
The house in Offerton Road was bought for £2.3million last November by Mr Renwick. His father is believed to have made millions in business in the Midlands.
Mr Renwick’s brother said outside the property today: ‘We’re here to deal with the aftermath. As far as we know, it was a stowaway on a plane who’s likely to have been in the landing gear, probably already deceased but dropped out when the landing gear was put down and impacted on the back garden.
‘It was about 3.30pm. It was just on the patio, part on and part off it. It was a male as far as we know. There was somebody who saw the body fall from a plane and had coincidentally been tracking the plane.
‘It was a complete coincidence. He isn’t a plane watcher. I don’t know who he is. He is local. He saw an object fall out from the plane. He couldn’t see it was a body at 4,000 feet. The guy that was tracking the plane thought it was a Kenya Airways flight.’
He said one of the tenants was sleeping in the garden when the body fell.
The man, who did not wish to be identified, said: ‘He was in the back garden sleeping. He’s gone back home to his parent’s house. He’s obviously very shaken up. He wasn’t hurt but it was a narrow miss. The garden isn’t very big.
‘It was more than a lot of blood. It wasn’t pretty. It was the tenant who called the police after he had witnessed it. He was told to leave the property while the police deal with the body.
‘It caused a significant amount of damage to the garden. We are assessing the damage now. We’ve spoken to Kenya Airways and they are at least going to at least pay for the clean up.
‘They are assuming responsibility given the statement of the witness. The house is on the flight path. Almost every plane that comes into Heathrow seems to go overhead. From our point of view, to be honest, we are still in shock about it.’
A neighbour said a group of working men in their 20s lived in the property.
The house is situated three hundred yards from Clapham Common, which was packed with sunseekers on Sunday afternoon, leading residents to say the tragedy could have been much worse if the body had fallen moments earlier.
However the sunbathing tenant, Mr Renwick, was sleeping in the garden as the body crashed to earth.
Mr Renwick’s friend, who was inside the house at the time, said it was a miracle the impact did not kill anyone on the ground.
He told the Sun: ‘He didn’t even realise what it was to begin with. He was asleep and then there was a huge impact.
The body is believed to have landed in this back garden in Clapham, south London, after falling from around 3,575ft from the Kenya Airways jet
‘The body literally landed one metre away from him and was obliterated. My friend was very shaken. There were a few of us in the house at the time and it was lucky only one of us was in the garden.
‘Nobody would have survived being hit. The impact was horrific.’
The tenant’s brother said there was ‘a lot of blood’ at the scene.
He added: ‘It was a narrow miss. The garden isn’t very big. There was more than a lot of blood. It wasn’t pretty and caused a significant amount of damage.’
Another neighbour told how Mr Renwick was shaken up by the horrific incident.
He said: ‘I saw the young lad who’d been in the garden when it happened. He was sitting on his front steps and was really shaken up. He was almost in a trance.
‘I asked him if he was OK and if he needed anything. He said in a soft quite voice ‘no thanks’ and I think that was all he could say. The police were with him. You could see this had really affected him – but then it would anyone.’
The female neighbour who spoke to MailOnline said the body was lying face-up and was largely intact.
Flight KQ 100 snaked through London’s skies as it headed towards Heathrow Airport. The man fell from the plane as it passed over Offerton Road in Clapham
One tenant at the rented mid-terrace property (pictured) was in the garden when the body landed
Whether that was because he was frozen, I don’t know,’ she said. ‘He looked to be lying facing up but his neck was quite badly twisted. Next to him was a dent in the grass which must have been the point of impact.
‘The day before there was a children’s party so it could have been even worse.
‘My heart goes out to my neighbour and also to the poor victim. It’s so out of the ordinary and certainly not what you’d like expect in a quiet suburban London street.’
The body was removed at about 8.30pm and a clean-up team returned yesterday morning to continue the job, a further neighbour said.
He added: ‘I spoke to Heathrow Airport this morning to ask if they were aware of this. If it had been two seconds later, he would have landed on the common where there were hundreds of people – my kids were in the garden 15 minutes before [he fell].
‘I spoke to Heathrow. They said this happens once every five years.’
The unidentified stowaway was found in the garden of a home in Offerton Road in Clapham, south London. The street is seen here in this aerial image
The man was thought to have fallen from the landing gear of the Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to Heathrow Airport
The stowaway was in the landing gear of a flight bound from Nairobi to Heathrow Airport (pictured in a file image) in west London
Describing the victim, he said: ‘One of the reasons his body was so intact was because his body was an ice block.’
He added: ‘The investigation is with Nairobi Airport, if someone can climb up into the wheel arch then someone can put up a bomb up there and let it off over London.’
The 4,250-mile trip from Nairobi to Heathrow takes around eight hours and 50 minutes, according to the airline.
Kenya Airways said the Kenya High Commission in London has already been contacted.
Their statement read: ‘The incident has been treated as a sudden death and is now a police matter. The police have already been in contact with the Kenya High Commission to help identify and name the person.
Flight data shows the Kenya Airways jet descended to 3,575ft as it began preparing to land and was travelling at around 200mph when it passed over south London (pictured: the plane’s flight-path in green over Offerton Road)
The unnamed man fell from the landing gear of a jet as it passed over south London. Pictured are Kenya Airways planes parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Nairobi (file image)
‘It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences.
‘Kenya Airways is working closely with the relevant authorities in Nairobi and London as they fully investigate this case.’
The aircraft was undamaged and cleared to take-off again yesterday after being inspected at Heathrow.
The Met Police said a post-mortem will be carried out in due course, and the age of the individual has yet to be determined.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Inquiries are being conducted with the Met’s southern central command unit and its aviation policing command.
The Met said it would be liaising with the airline and international authorities.