Teen lucky to be alive after riding in plane's wheel well

U.S. officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 11,580 metres and a lack of oxygen.

"Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that."

The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said.

"Kid's lucky to be alive," Simon said.

Simon said security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy from Santa Clara, California, hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning. San Jose police say they will be reviewing whether charges are warranted against the boy.

The child had run away from his family after an argument, Simon said. Simon said when the Boeing 767 landed in Maui, the boy hopped down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport grounds.

"He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight," Simon said. The flight lasted about 5 1/2 hours.

More on this at NZ Herald


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