An international investigation could not determine the identity of a man found dead in the landing gear of a plane.

The year-long search for a man found dead at Gatwick was not able to find his name or any of his relatives after a flight from Gambia.

The unknown man was found frozen to death after spending hours in extremely cold conditions wearing just a fleece top, tracksuit bottoms and sandals.

An inquest into the death of the man held today in Chichester heard that engineers found him wedged by the landing gear of the Tui flight from Banjul in Gambia wearing plastic sandals with no socks. He also had no passport or identifying documents.

The unknown man was pronounced dead at Gatwick on December 7, 2022.

The Argus: An e-fit image of the dead manAn e-fit image of the dead man (Image: Sussex Police)

The inquest also heard how international enquiries by Sussex Police and Gambian authorities were unable to determine the man’s identity.

Pathologist Dr Ceri Morgan confirmed that the man “died of hypothermia” and likely froze to death before the plane landed at Gatwick at 3am.

Hold temperatures on long-haul flights from to Gatwick can reach as low as -60C.

Police say they were called to Gatwick’s north terminal after the body was discovered.

Passengers had left the plane and their luggage had been disembarked before the discovery.

The Argus: The man's body was found in the wheel well of a TUI planeThe man's body was found in the wheel well of a TUI plane (Image: PA)

"The body was frozen and unable to be moved," a police spokesman said.

Sussex Police previously released an e-fit image of the man in an attempt to help identify him.

Coroner Joanne Andrews, sitting in Chichester, said the plane was held for around three minutes at a particularly dark part of Banjul International Airport prior to take-off.

She said: “I will have to record his death as that of being an unknown male.

"It is extremely sad his family will not be informed."

Ms Andrews did not conclude how the man came to be in the wheel well of the aircraft.

She added that the inquest “can be re-opened” if further information about his identity comes to light.