STOCKHOLM: An Ethiopian asylum seeker who stowed away aboard a flight from Addis Ababa to Sweden was found safe and sound Friday in the plane’s hold at Stockholm airport.
“The baggage handlers discovered him and alerted us this morning. We were afraid he was suffering from hypothermia… but he was doing fine,” police spokesman Stefan Fardigs told AFP.
The man took advantage of his job at Addis Ababa airport to smuggle himself aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight. He was still wearing his work ID card when he was found.
Europe is struggling to deal with a flood of migrants – many fleeing conflict and poverty – who have turned up after risky boat and overland journeys in hopes of obtaining asylum or seeking a better life.
The Ethiopian man, in his mid-20s, told police he wanted asylum and was taken to meet with immigration authorities.
Sweden was second only to Germany as the top recipient of refugees in the 28-nation European Union last year.
In 2014, it granted asylum to 35,000 people out 81,000 who had asked for its protection.
Asylum applications from Ethiopians have boomed in the first seven months of 2015, shooting up by 140 percent over the same period last year.