TIME Transportation

Teenager Survives California-to-Maui Flight in Plane’s Wheel Well

A 16-year-old hopped the fence at San Jose International Airport after an argument with his family and squeezed into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Maui, where he emerged confused but unharmed some five hours later

Federal investigators and airline authorities are baffled after a 16-year-old boy reportedly survived in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui, in Hawaii, on Sunday.

According to officials, the teenager had fled his home in Santa Clara, Calif., after quarreling with his family and jumped the fence at San Jose International Airport, where he slipped into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Maui.

Despite the icy temperatures and dearth of oxygen, the boy survived the trip and was found wandering around the airport grounds in Maui more than five hours later when the aircraft landed.

“Kid’s lucky to be alive,” FBI spokesman Tom Simon told the Associated Press. “He was unconscious for the lion’s share of the flight.”

The teenager was later released to child-protective services. No criminal charges have been filed.

[AP]

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