naked man climbs into moving jet in l a

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    Naked man climbs into moving jet in Los Angeles
    09:49, Thursday, 4 November 2004

    LOS ANGELES, Nov 3 (Reuters) - A Canadian man, angry that
    he was refused a plane ticket to Australia at Los Angeles
    International Airport, stripped naked, sprinted across the
    tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a moving jumbo jet,
    officials said on Wednesday.

    Pilots of the Qantas Airways flight stopped the plane. The
    man was coaxed out of the wheel well and arrested for
    trespassing, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

    "This was an extremely dangerous thing for him to do. If he
    had continued to cling in there with the aircraft taking off at
    over 200 miles (320 kph) per hour, he might have fallen out and
    could have been sucked up by an engine," she said.

    "If he had survived that and was in the wheel well when the
    landing gear was retracted, he could have been crushed by the
    mechanism. And if not he very likely would have frozen to death
    during the 15 1/2 hour flight at 30,000 feet (9,150 metres)
    while wearing no clothes."

    The man, Neil Melly, 31, tried to buy a one-way ticket on
    the Qantas flight on Monday evening, but was turned down
    because he could not supply a valid credit card, Castles said.

    Later, he managed to climb over an airport fence, topped by
    three strands of barbed wire, without injury and was spotted by
    a ramp worker "running, naked, full-speed" toward the plane.

    Castles said a check by authorities found that Melly had
    been reported missing to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and
    was suffering from bi-polar disorder, a manic-depressive

    ((Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, editing by Chris Wilson; Reuters
    Messaging: [email protected]; 1 213 380

    (c) Reuters Limited 2004
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