Boy survives two-hour flight to Moscow hanging onto plane wing
RIA Novosti | September 25, 2007
A 15-year-old boy from the Urals suffered acute frostbite after riding the wing of a Boeing-737 plane on a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow, Russian radio station Mayak reported on Monday.
After clinging on for the entire 1300-kilometer (808-mile) flight to Vnukova Airport, the boy, named Andrei, collapsed onto the tarmac. His arms and legs were so severely frozen that rescuers were at first unable to remove his coat and shoes, the radio station said.
The airport did not confirm the report. "We have no information on this," the Vnukovo press service told RIA Novosti.
However, Moscow's air and water transport control department said the radio's claim was true. A department spokesman said the incident occurred on Friday, and that the boy's parents were immediately informed, and flew to the capital the same day.
Doctors said it was nothing short of a miracle that Andrei survived the flight, with temperatures hitting minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit), the radio station said. The Boeing-737 has a cruising speed of 900 kmh (560 mph).
The boy reportedly made the journey after a commonplace domestic dispute. Angry with his father, who reportedly has a drinking problem, and with his mother for siding with her husband in family rows, Andrei ran away to the neighboring village, where his grandmother lives. On reaching the village, he decided to go on, and hitched a 220-km (137-mile) ride to the regional center, Perm, where he was dropped off at the airport.
It remains unclear how Andrei was able to climb on a plane wing un-noticed, and the Perm Airport security service is being asked some serious questions, the radio station said.
Andrei is now being treated in a Moscow hospital, Radio Mayak said.
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