Teen Stowaway's Dramatic Landing Captured on Video

May 8, 2014

A 15-year-old who barely survived a California-to-Hawaii flight in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines plane was captured on a security camera at the end of his five-and-a-half-hour journey.

The footage shows the boy's legs dangling from the bottom of the plane, and then he falls to the ground. The ordeal occurred April 20, ending at the Maui airport, and he was hospitalized shortly after.

Yahya Abdi's story seemed unlikely at the time, but this new footage confirms his story – he was looking to run away from home and hopped into the wheel well of the first airplane he could.

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Abdi survived the flight at 35,000 feet despite low oxygen and freezing temperatures. The flight began at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The six minutes of security footage that the Hawaii Department of Transportation released show Abdi lowering himself from the Boeing 767 and jumping to the ground.

He sits on the concrete for 13 seconds, then gets up and slowly walks toward the front of the plane. He wobbles slightly as he walks, pausing briefly a few times in the roughly 40 seconds it takes him to get under the passageway connecting the front of the airplane with the terminal.

Abdi walks up to an airport worker driving a cart, and the two talk for about three minutes before walking away together. The boy stays standing the whole time.

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Hawaii Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said the footage was released after the state attorney general's office reviewed media requests.

San Jose, California, police spokesman Albert Morales said the Somali immigrant flew back to California over the weekend and was being cared for by Santa Clara County Child Protective Services.

Morales said in a statement Tuesday that authorities plan to work with the boy's attorney to set up an interview with him in the near future.

After the department concludes its investigation, it will consult with Santa Clara County district attorney's office and city of San Jose representatives to decide whether to file charges against him, Morales said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

MORE: The Highest Airport in the World

A view of Daocheng County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China. Daocheng is the location of a new airport under construction which, upon completion, will be the world's highest tourism airport at 14,469 ft above sea level. (Flickr/eiro)


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