(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — The father of the 15-year-old who stowed away in the wheel well of a plane for five hours said his son was saved by God.
The teen survived through chilling temperatures and high altitudes in the unpressurized area of the jetliner. In an interview with the Voice of America, Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi said his son is recovering in a Hawaii hospital.
“I heard that he survived, God saved him, I was extremely happy, but, it was something unexpected, it is something that crosses anyone’s mind,” Abdi told VOA on Wednesday.
The father identified the teen as Yahya Abdi, who was spotted by airport workers on the tarmac in Maui after crawling out of the wheel well. He explained that his son had a “tough time with his schoolwork,” which may have attributed to his decision to make the trip in the Boeing 767. The teen also frequently spoke about going back to Africa where his grandparents are, his father said.
“He didn’t study while in Africa, starting high school in here, was difficult, that could also be the cause, excessive absent, and learning became difficult for him,” Abdi said.
An airport official in Hawaii who spoke with the teen told ABC News he said he ran away from home because he was angry about an argument he had with his stepmother and dad.
Airport surveillance video captured him exiting the wheel well at about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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