Hawaiian transport officials have released CCTV footage which shows a teenager climbing out from a jet’s wheel, and appears to confirm reports that the then-15-year old endured freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels to survive a five-hour flight from California.
Before arriving in Hawaii, the teenager jumped a fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport, and climbed into the wheel of the nearest plane to brave the journey which reached 35,000 feet, according to the FBI and airport officials.
It is believed Yahya Abdi was attempting to run away from his father in Santa Clara, in the US state of California, and reach his mother who is living in Somalia, Africa, according to the Hawaiian police.
The complete version of the six minute video shows the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 parked at a gate at the Maui airport on 20 April of this year. As workers carry out their daily tasks, Abdi’s legs drop from the plane’s middle, and he lands on the concrete.
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He then sits on the concrete for 13 seconds, gets up and slowly walks toward the front of the plane. He wobbles slightly as he walks, and pauses briefly a few times in the roughly 40 seconds it takes him to get under the passageway connecting the front of the aeroplane with the terminal.
Abdi approaches an airport worker driving a cart, and the two talk for about three minutes before walking away together. The boy stays stands for the duration of the conversation.
At the time, Special Agent Tom Simon said the boy was unconscious for “the lion’s share of the flight.”
“It's a miracle. It's amazing he survived,” he added.
The footage was made public after the state attorney general's office reviewed media requests, according to Hawaii Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter.
Albert Morales, police spokesman for the city of San Jose, said Abdi flew back to California over the weekend, and was being cared for by Santa Clara County Child Protective Services.
Morales added in a statement on Tuesday that authorities plan to work with the boy's lawyer 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.
Additional reporting by APReuse content