Teen stowaway lucky to be alive after hiding in wheel well on fl - KMSP-TV

Teen stowaway lucky to be alive after hiding in wheel well on flight to Maui

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A 16 year-old teen survived a 5 hour flight hidden in the wheel well of Boeing 767, it's a trip many have tried but very few have survived.
    
That 16 year old boy went from San Jose, California across the Pacific to Maui, a 5.5 hour flight.

With 80 degree temps and no oxygen for the boy, doctors we spoke to today says this boy should be dead and says it is truly spectacular that he survived.

A photo showed the 16 year old boy getting checked out with paramedics in Maui after allegedly flying across the Pacific in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines 767.

The stowaway jumped the fence at San Jose airport and climbed into the wheel well of the plane. That's where he stayed until arriving in Hawaii five and half hours later.

The boy endured temperatures well below zero and no oxygen in the un pressurized wheel well. Doctor's say the boy should be dead.

"He's very much a medical anomaly," said Dr. Eric Katz with Maricopa Medical Center.

Dr. Eric Katz is an emergency room doctor at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. He explains the boy's body went into a hypothermic state which probably helped him survive.

"As you drop somebody's temperature down their metabolic demand also goes down which means they need less oxygen it means they burn their glucose more slowly so sometimes in prolonged hypothermia you can survive for extended periods of time," said Dr. Katz.

The stowaway explained to medical personnel in hawaii that he passed out shortly after taking off from California, and it was not until about an hour before landing did he come to.

The 16-year-old told police he was running away from home.

FBI and TSA are now looking into how this kid made it onto the ramp and onto that plane in San Jose without anybody seeing him in the darkness.

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