Teenage stowaway survives flight over Pacific in jet wheel well

The boy is taken away in an ambulance at Kahului airport in Maui, Hawaii, after stowing away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, California. Photograph: Chris Sugidono/AP
A teenage runaway has survived a five-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii stowed away in the freezing wheel well of a jet plane.
Officials said it was a miracle the 16-year-old did not die after he lost consciousness as temperatures fell to -62C (-80F) in the compartment on flight.
He was found on the asphalt at Kahului airport in Maui, Hawaii, with no identification after jumping down and wandering around the grounds. His only possession, besides what he was wearing, was a comb.
Officials said he had run away from his family after an argument.
Security footage from the San Jose airport, where the flight originated, showed the boy jumping over a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines flight 45 on Sunday.
"His story checked out," said FBI special agent Tom Simon. "It's just an apparent miracle … There was no appearance of any special gear of any sort. He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight."
Simon said the boy was given a medical examinations and found to be unharmed. "[He] doesn't even remember the flight," he said. "It's amazing he survived that."
The boy, who will not be charged, has been referred to child protection services, Simon added.
Hawaiian Airlines said staff noticed the boy on the ramp after the flight arrived and notified airport security. "Our primary concern now is for the wellbeing of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived," it added.
In August, a 13- or 14-year-old boy in Nigeria survived a 35-minute trip in the wheel well of a domestic flight after stowing away. Authorities credited the flight's short duration with his survival.
Others stowing away in wheel wells have died, including a 16-year-old killed after stowing away on board a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston in 2010 and a man who fell on to a suburban London street from a flight from Angola in 2012.
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