VIDEO: Footage of Stowaway at Kahului Airport Released
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By Wendy Osher
Airport officials on Maui have released footage of a teen who stowed away on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from San Jose to Kahului, Maui on Sunday, April 20, 2014.
The video footage shows a disoriented teen on the Kahului tarmac as state transportation officials in Hawaiʻi had indicated in an earlier statement.
“The teen appeared disoriented and was questioned by a worker near the plane who alerted security,” said transportation officials prior to the video release.
The surveillance video shows what appears to be the boy exiting from the wheel well of a plane, which had traveled five hours and 20 minutes from San Jose, California, and landed in Kahului, Maui.
The boy was treated by airport and county medics before being transported to a Maui hospital and then to Honolulu.
The 15-year-old boy, was initially taken into the custody of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Branch.
Authorities from the department issued a notification on April 29 saying the boy’s father had arrived in Hawaiʻi, and later issued a followup on May 2, saying the boy is safe and no longer in Hawaiʻi.
Following the incident, officials with the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation said, “Hawaiʻi airport security includes multiple layers of security involving many agencies. While we cannot disclose details of our security operations we can say that perimeter security includes foot patrols, vehicle patrols, and video surveillance.”
“Hawaiʻi DOT Airports Division is continually working with our security partners including the FAA to improve operations and security. An incident such as this serves as a reminder for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and if they see something, say something and report it to authorities,” authorities said in a statement issued on April 22.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the boy had run away from his family, and survived cold temperatures and a lack of oxygen while in the wheel well of the plane.
Authorities say said the boy was “exceptionally lucky” to have survived.