Teen survives stowaway flight from San Jose to Hawaii (w/ video)Kahului, HI (CNN) - Airport officials call it a miracle - a teenage stowaway survived a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii in a jet's wheel well.
By: Lisa Kubota, CNN, WDAY
Kahului, HI (CNN) - Airport officials call it a miracle - a teenage stowaway survived a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii in a jet's wheel well.
According to airport officials there, video footage shows an unidentified person walking on the airport ramp in the darkness and approaching a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767.
Marvin Moniz - Maui Airport District Manager: "He indicated there was some problems at home with his family and he left the home and headed out to the airport, obviously jumped the fence there in San Jose."
The stowaway told authorities that he climbed into the left rear wheel well dressed in a hooded jacket, jeans and sneakers. Authorities believe he blacked out shortly after the plane took off for Kahului.
Marvin Moniz: "There is some space, but he's very fortunate that when the wheel went up into position that it didn't crush him...It's a miracle to survive a flight five hours at 35,000 feet with no oxygen. It's not a temperature controlled area as well."
Despite the lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures, surveillance video from the Kahului Airport shows the boy emerging from the wheel well about an hour after the plane landed.
Marvin Moniz: "He was weak. He hung from the wheel well and then he fell to the ground and regained some strength and stood up and started walking to the front of the aircraft."
We're told he had some trouble hearing at first. Authorities fed him and medics took him to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment. The only thing he had with him was a comb.
The airline and TSA inspected the plane before it departed. Passengers arriving on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 from San Jose were amazed and alarmed.
Tim Bender - California Resident: "Getting over is one thing, but the fact that no one actually seen him jump onto the plane - that's kind of another."
Ricky Cabrera - California Resident: "If a kid was able to jump a fence and hop onto the landing gear, imagine someone could have easily placed a bomb. There was a serious security breach here that needs to be addressed."
Airport officials say they are re-examining their safety protocols to avoid a repeat. The FBI dropped out of the investigation once it was confident the teen didn't pose a threat.