Teen Stowaway's Intended Destination: Somalia
Dad says he missed relatives, struggled in school
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2014 1:24 AM CDT
The 15-year-old stowaway is loaded into an ambulance at Kahului Airport in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, Sunday afternoon.   (AP Photo/The Maui News, Chris Sugidono)

(Newser) – The teenage stowaway who miraculously survived a five-hour flight in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 was trying to get to his native Somalia, not Hawaii, his father says. The 15-year-old, who moved to the US as a refugee with his father and stepmother four years ago, was struggling to adjust to life in America and desperately missed family members left behind, the father tells Voice of America. "He did not receive education when he was in Africa. Since we came here he had learning challenges at school. He was not good at math and science and I think he had a lot of education problems bothering him," says the father. The San Jose-area taxi driver says Allah helped his son survive the extreme cold and thin air at 38,000 feet.

"He was always talking about going back to Africa, where his grandparents still live," the father says. "We want to go back, but due to the current living conditions we can't go back." Airport officials in Hawaii, where the boy was found after surviving the flight and climbing down from the plane's landing gear, say he told them he had argued with his father and stepmother and wanted to go to Somalia to find his mother, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The father says his son, who hasn't been charged with anything in Hawaii or California, is currently in a Honolulu children's hospital and should be returning to California soon.

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Showing 3 of 73 comments
watashiwa
Apr 24, 2014 1:08 PM CDT
It's just good thing he didn't fall out and hurt a viable person.
Imhotep
Apr 24, 2014 8:48 AM CDT
This is a perfect example of the immigration policy of this country has. Exactly what contribution to this pitiful economy did those people have to contribute. Are they working ? Where are they working ? What is their profession ? Did they have a good job waiting for them when they arrived. Of course the article conveniently left out those minor details. Bring them on, fill the country full of low paying ignorant people that end up on the dole. Maybe they'll vote for your candidate.
bearmon2010
Apr 24, 2014 8:35 AM CDT
I hope that they will find a way to return their beloved home. Yeah, many people moved here thought that America will made them rich and thats not true. Anyway, I pray for them to find a peace and happiness soon.