The body of a suspected stowaway fell from an aeroplane and narrowly missed a software engineer sunbathing in his back garden, it has emerged.

John Baldock, an Oxford University graduate, was asleep when the man's body violently plunged into the ground only three feet (0.9m) away.

One neighbour said yesterday that the impact was so loud they thought a bomb had gone off. Another saw "blood all over the walls" of the garden.

Baldock was last night recovering from the experience at his parents' home in Devon. One close relative told the Telegraph that he had been "extremely traumatised" by the experience.

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Police believe that the unidentified dead man hid himself inside the landing gear of a Kenya Airlines flight from Nairobi in an attempt to reach Britain. His body fell from around 3,500 feet as the plane lowered its wheels before landing at Heathrow after a nine hour journey. A bag, water and food were later found on board.

A large crater was visible in the garden of the home in Clapham, south London, yesterday. It appeared that the man's body had plunged through a tree before landing partly on concrete paving slabs and an astroturf lawn.

The body was wearing jeans and a blue T-shirt, and was described by one neighbour as being frozen "like an ice block". A cousin of Baldock told the Telegraph that his family were "very close" and were "rallying round him".

"John is extremely traumatised by what happened. He'll live with this for the rest of his days. But at least he's got his mum, dad and sister to get him through," the relative said.

Speaking at the house in Clapham yesterday, the landlord's brother, who did not wish to be named, said Baldock was "obviously very shaken up".

"He's gone back home to his parent's house. He wasn't hurt but it was a narrow miss. The garden isn't very big," he said.

"It was more than a lot of blood. It wasn't pretty."

Tim McKean, 46, was in his garden when a "black streak" shot over his head and crashed yards away.

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Initially fearing it was some kind of bomb, the consultant "faceplanted" on to the floor before rushing inside to ensure his family was safe.

McKean told the Telegraph he saw the dark shape fly over his head from west to east and expressed astonishment it had not hit any buildings.

He said: "I was out fixing something in the shed and I saw this black streak and heard a proper 'whoompf'.

"It was such an acute angle that it was coming down - it had to miss so much, I'm stunned.

"The object looked quite small but it was going so fast.

"If you've heard a rocket or similar explosive device it sounded like that - it was the sound of wind."

In 2012, Jose Matada fell to his death from a British Airways flight inbound from Angola.

Mr Matada, originally from Mozambique, was found on the pavement in East Sheen on September 9.

An inquest into his death heard he is believed to have survived freezing temperatures of up to minus 60C for most of the 12-hour flight.

But he was understood to be "dead or nearly dead" by the time he hit the ground.

In 2015, the body of a man landed on a shop in Richmond having clung on in the undercarriage of a plane from Johannesburg in South Africa to Heathrow.

Kenya's airports authority has launched an investigation into the unidentified man managed to breach security. There have twice been stowaway incidents, both of them fatal, at Nairobi's airport in the past.

However, Kenya, a frequent target of Islamist terror groups, has substantially tightened security in recent years. Investigators are probing whether the stowaway could have been a baggage handler, sources said.

"This incident is being treated with the seriousness it deserves," a spokesman for the Kenya Airports Authority said.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said it would be liaising with the airline and international authorities.