A teen stowaway who survived a ride from California to Hawaii in a passenger jet’s wheel well earlier this year told a California CBS affiliate Tuesday that he randomly selected the plane in which he hid during the five-and-a-half hour flight.
The interview was Yahye Abdi’s first since his harrowing journey, which has dumbfounded medical professionals — people typically quickly lose brain function when more 35,000 feet above the ground without oxygen or pressurization systems.
Abdi told KPIX the ride wasn’t scary, though he couldn’t believe he survived. “It was above the clouds, I could see through the little holes,” the teen said.
Abdi, a 15-year-old Somali immigrant, says he ran away from home in April because he was unhappy in California with his stepmom. The teen also said he wanted to see his mother, as the two have not been with one another since Abdi was 7-years-old.
“I only did it because I didn’t want to live with my stepmom,” Abdi said. “Second of all, I wanted to find my mom. I haven’t seen her since I was young.”
“I took that plane because it was the closest one I could find that was going to go West,” he added. The teen is currently staying in a foster home, he plans to move to Minnesota to live with his aunt.
His advice for kids thinking about hopping on planes: “They shouldn’t run away, because sometimes they will end up dying.”