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Teenage stowaway survives fight
21 Apr 2014 09:09
A teenage boy who ran away from home survived a five-hour flight in the freezing wheel well of a jetliner that reached 11,582 metres as it travelled from California to Hawaii, the FBI said.
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The 16-year-old, from Santa Clara, California, quickly lost consciousness as temperatures in the compartment sank as low as 62C below zero, FBI special agent Tom Simon said.
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About an hour after the plane landed yesterday morning, the boy regained consciousness and emerged onto the tarmac at the airport in Maui, where he was spotted by ground crew.
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"It's just an apparent miracle ... There was no appearance of any special gear of any sort," said Simon.
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The stowaway told FBI officials that he had run away from home, climbed a fence at the airport in San Jose, California, crossed the tarmac and crawled into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines flight 45.
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"His story checked out," and no federal charges were filed, Mr Simon, of the FBI's Honolulu office, said.
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The boy was turned over to local child protection officials, and a medical examination showed he appeared to have been unharmed by the ordeal.
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The flying time from San Jose to Hawaii was more than five hours.
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"Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived," Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement.
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