Jet stowaway survives 4,000 miles at minus 45

Click to follow
The Independent US

A stowaway has miraculously survived a 4,000-mile journey in the wheel well of a jet plane at temperatures which should have killed him, writes Louise Jury.

A stowaway has miraculously survived a 4,000-mile journey in the wheel well of a jet plane at temperatures which should have killed him, writes Louise Jury.

The man was found alive at Los Angeles international airport after enduring temperatures as low as minus 45C. Anything below minus 30C is usually fatal, medical experts say. The man's core body temperature had fallen to 26C, compared with a normal temperature of 37C, but he was responding to treatment at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Centre yesterday.

David Langness, a hospital spokesman, said: "We don't know of any other person whose body temperature dropped this low who has survived. I think you'd have to say this is something of a miracle." The stowaway, who is believed to have come from Tahiti, was covered in gear oil when firefighters rescued him from the aircraft on Thursday night.

He was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, but by yesterday was no longer hypothermic. He was still receiving intravenous fluids as doctors ran tests to see whether oxygen deprivation had affected his brain. Mr Langness said the man was in good condition and could be released in a day or two.

The stowaway arrived in the wheel well of an Air France flight which had travelled from Papeete, French Polynesia. He thrashed about when he was pulled out by firefighters. Jim Wells, of the Fire Department, said: "He was extricated from an area that's not big enough to get comfortable in."

Comments