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PopWrapped | Current Events

Teenager Survives Nearly 6-Hour Flight Stowed Inside Plane's Wheel Well

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


Updated 04/21/2014 3:44pm
Teenager Survives Nearly 6-Hour Flight Stowed Inside Plane's Wheel Well
Media Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bradleigh-Ann Walker

Senior Content Editor @urbanbeautyxo

A 16-year-old boy from Santa Clara, California ran away from home after an argument with his family on April 20, and then somehow hopped a fence unseen at San Jose's Mineta International Airport. He proceeded to climb into the left rear wheel well of a Hawaiian airlines flight bound for Maui. He apparently didn't know where it was headed before he got onto to the plane. The trip lasted for 5 1/2 hours, and considering the condition of a Boeing 767's wheel well during flight, the teen may have dealt with extremely low levels of oxygen and temperatures as cold as 80 degrees below zero. “How he survived, I don’t know,” FBI Honolulu spokesman Tom Simon said. “I imagine he must have blacked out at about 10,000 feet." Investigators have said it's a miracle that the teen managed to survive the flight under such extreme conditions, especially considering he was apparently unconscious throughout most of it. When the plane landed around 10:30 am on Sunday, he was unconscious for nearly an hour afterwards before he jumped down from the wheel well. Hawaiian Airlines alerted police when staff saw him on the tarmac. “Our primary concern now is the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived," the airline said. Medical officials cleared him, and he hasn't been charged with a crime since it doesn't appear that he was a threat to the airline in any way. Investigators are, however, concerned with how he managed to evade security and get into the airport in the first place. There have been other cases like this in the past. One involved a teenager  who survived a 35-minute flight to Lagos, but another was a 26-year-old man who fell from the wheel well to his death as a flight landed in London. The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are still investigating the breach of security in San Jose.

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