April 21st, 2014
12:09 PM ET

Teen Survives 5-Hour Flight in Jet Landing Gear

The first sign something was off was when the ground crew at Kahului Airport in Maui noticed a boy wandering the tarmac, dazed and confused.

The story he told officials was even more incredible.

The 16-year-old apparently hitched a ride from San Jose, California, to Maui, Hawaii, in the landing-gear wheel well of a Boeing 767, Hawaiian Airlines said Sunday.

"Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived," the airline said.

He certainly is.

If his story pans out - and the FBI has been called in to investigate - he rode in the tiny cramped compartment for almost five hours, at altitudes that reached 38,000 feet, without oxygen and under subzero temperatures.

That has some experts questioning his story.

"It sounds really incredible," said aviation expert Jeff Wise. "Being in a wheel well is like all of a sudden being on top of Mount Everest."

Between the oxygen depletion and the cold, life expectancy "is measured in minutes," Wise said.

But some people have survived. A total of 105 people are known to have attempted to fly inside wheel wells on 94 flights, the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute says. Of those, 25 made it through, including a 9-year-old child - a survival rate of 24%. One of the flights went as high as 39,000 feet.

The conditions can put stowaways in a virtual "hibernative" state, the FAA says.

Someone could slip into unconsciousness so that the body cools and "the central nervous system is preserved," said CNN aviation expert Michael Kay. Also, he said, "there could be a situation where inside the bay is warmer than the external air temperature and you wouldn't get the instantaneous freezing of the skin."

Still, "for somebody to survive multiple hours with that lack of oxygen and that cold is just miraculous," airline analyst Peter Forman toldCNN affiliate KHON in Honolulu.

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12 People Dead in Mount Everest Avalanche
April 18th, 2014
05:42 AM ET

12 People Dead in Mount Everest Avalanche

A high-altitude avalanche Friday killed 12 Sherpa guides and seriously wounded three in the single deadliest accident on Mount Everest, officials said.

Four others are missing, said Madhu Sudan Burlakoti of Nepal's Tourism Ministry, adding that six people were injured in total.

A group of about 50 people, mostly Nepali Sherpas, were hit by the avalanche at more than 20,000 feet, said Tilak Ram Pandey of the ministry's mountaineering department.

The avalanche took place just above base camp in the Khumbu Ice Fall.

The climbers were accounted for, Pandey said. "Rescue teams have gone ... to look for the missing."

Before Friday, the deadliest single-day toll was from an accident in May 1996, when eight climbers disappeared when a huge storm hit. Their tragic story was chronicled in Jon Krakauer's bestselling book "Into Thin Air."

MORE at CNN.com.

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February 12th, 2014
10:47 AM ET

Retired Lawyer Killed After Package Sent to Home Explodes

Bewildered residents in rural Tennessee are grappling with fear and confusion as they try to understand why someone would send a bomb in the mail to their neighbor.

Retired lawyer John Setzer, 74, died Monday after "an unknown package exploded," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

His wife, 72-year-old Marion Setzer, was seriously injured and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A barrage of federal, state and local authorities descended on the neighborhood near Lebanon, Tennessee, about 30 miles east of Nashville. The FBI, U.S. postal inspectors, the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also investigating.

So far, they haven't publicly disclosed a motive. Those who knew the couple well are astonished.

"It doesn't make sense at all," family friend Ken Caldwell told CNN affiliate WTVF. "When I've heard it said that it was targeted, I thought, well, they must have targeted the wrong person."

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October 16th, 2013
07:30 AM ET

Police: Arrest In Lax Dry Ice Blasts

A suspect was arrested in connection with one of the dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport, police said Tuesday.

The arrest come on the heels of two incidents at that airport on Sunday and Monday. The suspect, identifed as Dicarlo Bennett, 28, was accused of the Sunday incident, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

He is being held on a $1 million bond and faces a charge of possession of a explosive or destructive device near an aircraft.

Police did not release any information on the suspect or a possible motive.

On Sunday, dry ice in a plastic bottle exploded in an employee restroom at the airport, causing a brief shutdown of Terminal 2, the FBI said. No injuries were reported, and the terminal resumed operations after a brief evacuation.

The other incident occurred Monday at about 8:30 p.m. at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, airport police said,

Three plastic bottles containing dry ice were found, but only one had exploded, police said

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