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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teen Who Hitched Ride to Hawaii in Wheel Well Was Actually Trying to Go to Africa

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 7:42 AM

click to enlarge SCREEN-GRAB VIA NBC NEWS
  • screen-grab via NBC News

Turns out, the 16-year-old Santa Clara boy who survived a 5-hour trip to Hawaii in the wheel well of a plane was trying to make his way to Africa possibly to reunite with his biological mother.

Hawaii News Now reports that the teen ended up on the Hawaii flight because it was the first plane he saw after he scaled the fence at San Jose's Mineta Airport on Sunday.

The teen lives in Santa Clara with his father and stepmother, and claims to have had a fight with them when he ran away to the airport. After scaling the fence, he climbed into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airliner which landed in Kahului -- that's 2.356 miles he survived at minus 80 degree temperatures.

The teen told authorities that shortly after takeoff, he passed out, which aligns with what medical experts have been saying about this incredible survival. According to the experts, the body will fall into a state of hibernation in those kind of harsh conditions. What's more, very few survive.

With the elevation at 38,000 feet, oxygen levels drop from 20 percent on the ground, to 5 percent in the that altitude.

Once the plane landed, the boy was seen wondering around the tarmac, disoriented and hard of hearing, the news station reports.

NBC News talked to some pilots who are expressing some serious doubts about how this kid managed to survive the flight.

Another important question: How did a 16-year-old kid breach manage to breach airport security?

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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