Father of teenage stowaway arrives in Hawaii: state official

A 16-year-old boy is carried on a stretcher in Maui
A 16-year-old boy is carried on a stretcher in Maui, Hawaii, April 20, 2014, as seen in this handout photo courtesy of Chris Sugidono,The Maui News. REUTERS/Chris Sugidono/The Maui News/Handout via Reuters

(Reuters) - The father of a 15-year-old Somali boy has arrived in Honolulu, where his son is in a hospital after surviving a trip from California to Hawaii stowed away in the wheel well of a jet, Hawaii officials on Tuesday.

The boy sneaked into the wheel compartment of a Boeing 767 that took off earlier this month from San Jose International Airport. He became one of only a fraction of stowaways to emerge alive after braving freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels.

He told investigators he wanted to go to Africa to see his mother, according to CNN.

Kayla Rosenfeld, a spokeswoman for Hawaii's Department of Human Services, said in a statement the boy's father arrived in Honolulu, though she declined to release additional information, citing privacy concerns. It was unclear if or when the Department of Human Services would release the teenager to his father.

The teen has been in a Hawaii hospital in the protective custody of child welfare authorities, Rosenfeld has said. The boy's father, of Santa Clara, has told Voice of America's Somali service that the family expected that the boy would soon be returned home to California.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Larry King)