Teen stowaway survives five hour flight to Hawaii in plane’s wheel well

BY Justin Scuiletti  April 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM EST

A five-and-a-half hour flight spent unconscious at 38,000 feet, complete with a temperature of negative 80 degrees and little oxygen to breathe, does not bode well for a human body. Authorities say a sixteen-year-old boy who was subjected to those conditions is lucky to be alive after sneaking inside the wheel well of a Hawaii-bound plane.

“How he survived, I don’t know,” said FBI spokesman Tom Simon. “It’s a miracle.”

The sixteen year old boy, whose name has not been released, reportedly hopped a fence at Mineta International Airport in San Jose, Calif., before managing to climb undetected into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45. The teen was not discovered until an hour after the flight landed in Maui, Hawaii’s Kahului Airport, when he descended to the tarmac after regaining consciousness.

While investigations are ongoing concerning how the teen was able to sneak into the secure runway and onto the flight, others are wondering how it was possible for the teen to survive such an ordeal.