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Boy who flew to Moscow in plane's wheel well faces amputation

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A boy who survived a freezing two-hour flight to Moscow in the wheel well of a Boeing-737's wing may lose his hands to amputation, Russian newspaper Tvoi Den reported Wednesday.
MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - A boy who survived a freezing two-hour flight to Moscow in the wheel well of a Boeing-737's wing may lose his hands to amputation, Russian newspaper Tvoi Den reported Wednesday.

The paper said the 15-year-old boy from the Urals, Andrei Shcherbakov, was taken back to Perm after a Moscow clinic refused to continue treating him, despite the severity of his injuries.

Doctors in the Urals city will have to remove the boy's fingertips, but will do everything possible to stop the gangrene spreading further, the paper said.

After running away from home last week, hitching a ride to the airport, and clambering into the wheel well of a passenger plane, Shcherbakov survived temperatures hitting minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit) on a two-hour flight from Perm to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport. Doctors said it was nothing short of a miracle that he survived the flight.

When the plane landed, Shcherbakov collapsed onto the tarmac. His arms and legs were so severely frozen that rescuers were at first unable to remove his coat and shoes.

Although Vnukovo airport said they had no information confirming the report, circulated by Russian media at the beginning of the week, Moscow's air and water transport control department said the story 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.

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