Investigators were seeking to unravel an unsettling mystery Saturday after a 16-year-old girl covered in severe burns arrived at Kennedy Airport on a flight from Egypt, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.
The teenager was sporting horrific injuries — with portions of her lips burned off and her fingers swollen beyond recognition — when she was taken off the plane in a wheelchair about 3:30 p.m., sources said.
“Nobody can understand how she got on the plane,” a source said. “How did they miss this?”
Paramedics were waiting at the airport for the victim, who had started screaming in agony midway through the EgyptAir flight.
Her clothing, which was not religious garb, concealed many — but not all — of her burns and bandages, sources said.
Paramedics rushed her to the Nassau University Medical Center burn unit, where she was recovering Saturday night.
Her condition was not clear but an initial assessment revealed that she suffered second-degree burns over 40% of her body, sources said.
Second-degree burns affect the first and second layers of skin and may involve painful blistering.
The teen’s account to authorities raised more questions than answers.
She said she suffered the burns in a gas explosion in her village, located roughly four hours from the nearest airport, sources said. There were no facilities near her home to treat her, she said, so family members gave her pain medication, wrapped her in some bandages and clothing and put her on the flight.
The pain medication started wearing off several hours into the flight — prompting the girl to howl in agony for much of the second half of the trip, sources said.
A relative was waiting for her at the airport, according to the sources said. It was unclear how much he knew about her condition.
The teen was escorted off the plane by a flight attendant, a privilege her family would have had to pay extra to obtain.
But the flight attendant didn’t wait around after handing off the victim to paramedics at customs, sources said. She’s believed to have boarded the next EgyptAir flight out of Kennedy.