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Man apprehended after emerging from wheel well of airplane that had just arrived from Guatemala

An investigation is ongoing into what appears in a video to be a stowaway exiting a plane’s wheel well.

MIAMI – An investigation is ongoing into what appears in a video to be a stowaway exiting a plane’s wheel well.

The flight in question was American Airlines #1182 which arrived at Miami International Airport on Saturday at 10:06 a.m. from Guatemala City, Guatemala.

American Airlines told Local 10 News that the plane, “was met by law enforcement due to a security issue.”

The airline is working with local law enforcement in their investigation but did not provide any additional information.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a 26-year-old man was apprehended.

CBP said the man, “attempted to evade detection in the landing gear compartment of an aircraft arriving from Guatemala Saturday morning.”

Authorities are investigating what appears in a video to be a stowaway exiting a plane’s wheel well.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed that the man was taken to a nearby hospital.

No other information was made available.

Saman Gonzalez, a local attorney who has been practicing immigration law for 18 years, said he has never seen anything like that before.

“This is quite a miraculous story for this man to put himself in such a dangerous situation,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the 26-year-old will likely be classified as a stowaway, meaning his only way to stay in the United States is to win an asylum case.

“Once he asks for asylum and specifically states there is a fear of returning to his country, he will be designated a credible fear interview,” Gonzalez said.

If he is not granted asylum, he will be sent back to Guatemala in the coming weeks at the expense of American Airlines, Gonzalez said.

“Technically, they are supposed to be returned to their country at the cost of the carrier,” she said.


About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.