Boy who survived flight in wheel well 'no longer in Hawaii'

NEW YORK Sat May 3, 2014 4:30pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 15-year-old Somali boy who survived a nearly six-hour trip from California to Hawaii stowed away in the wheel well of an airplane has left protective custody in Hawaii, officials said on Saturday.

The teenager was "no longer in Hawaii" according to a brief statement from Hawaii's Department of Human Services. Officials would not reveal when he left the state or where he was headed, citing privacy concerns and the boy's age.

The boy has been in protective custody in Hawaii since he sneaked into the wheel compartment of a Boeing 767 that took off April 20th from San Jose International Airport.

His survival was considered miraculous, given the freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels in the wheel well.

The boy, who was hospitalized after the incident, told investigators he was trying to go to Africa to find his mother.

His mother, Ubah Mohamed Abdulle, said in a radio interview with the Voice of America that she had fled Somalia and was living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia.

She said she was divorced from her husband, who lives in Santa Clara with their son and two of his siblings.

"They were even told that I was dead, but they recently found out that I was alive," she told the broadcast service in a report published on Friday.

The boy's father arrived in Honolulu from California about a week after he was found in the jet's wheel well, according to Child Welfare Services. The agency would not give details about whether father and son were being reunited.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; editing by Edith Honan and Gunna Dickson)

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Comments (5)
hawkeye19 wrote:
He must have failed geography. Hawaii is not Africa. And why is his mother in Africa and the Somali father in California? Better question: why have the Democrats brought all this Third World garbage to our country? Votes and misguided “compassion”. Minneapolis is infested with Somalis.

May 03, 2014 11:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
Wow, hawkeye19, do you get brain cramps in your efforts to twist completely apolitical content to fit your extremist political agenda?

Folks like you give the GOP a bad name.

Lest anyone wonder, I’m a card-carrying, voting, Republican NRA member.

May 03, 2014 11:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
hawkeye19 wrote:
Greg Brew, “gay” man and Log Cabin Republican. I’m neither a Republican, RINO, nor NRA member, so don’t attribute your political affiliation to me. “Extremist”? You must be speaking of your president and his fellow-travelers.

May 03, 2014 11:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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