Hawaiian authorities are trying to unravel a mystery of a teenager found wandering on the tarmac at Maui’s Kahului Airport who claims to have stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose.
Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz told the Maui News that the boy was found by airport workers Sunday morning and had no identification on him.
He told the paper that the FBI has interviewed the boy, who claims to have gotten into an argument with his family and run away from home.
FBI Special Agent Tom Simon told the Associated Press that security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the 16-year-old from Santa Clara hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning before it departed San Jose Mineta International Airport for Maui.
The flight departed for Maui at 7:50 a.m. PDT and arrived at 10:25 a.m.
San Jose airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes told KTVU that the FBI and TSA were working on an investigation of a possible ‘stowaway’ incident involving a flight from San Jose. She had no other details.
Simon told KTVU that the teen lost consciousness during the flight. The teen was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for examination and then turned over to child protective services.
In an email to KTVU, Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman Alison Croyle said the teen was lucky to have survived.
“Hawaiian Airlines personnel in Maui noticed the individual on the ramp after the flight's arrival and immediately notified airport security,” she wrote. “Our primary concern now is for the wellbeing of the person, who would have been exceptionally lucky to have survived.”
"Kid's lucky to be alive," he said.
Security officials completed a sweep of the plane using searching dogs. The flight – a Boeing 767 – was scheduled to depart for Oakland on its return leg, but was delayed by the investigation.