A passenger hailed as a hero after tackling the airliner terror suspect said tonight: “I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped.”
Jasper Schuringa, a 32-year-old film maker from Amsterdam, was applauded by fellow passengers after he and cabin crew subdued Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab as their Northwest flight was about to land at Detroit airport.
Mr Schuringa was sitting one row behind the suspect but on the other side of the plane when he heard what he said sounded like a firecracker going off.
He told America’s CNN news channel he heard a sound that reminded him of a firecracker and someone yelling, “Fire! Fire!”
He said: “I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away.
“My hands are pretty burned (but) I am fine. I am shaken up. I am happy to be here.”
“When (it) went off, everybody panicked then somebody screamed, ’Fire! Fire!’,” he said.
Looking across the plane, he saw smoke rising from a seat. “I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped,” he said.
Diving over four intervening passengers, he said his suspicions grew when he found the suspect doing nothing despite having a smoking blanket on his lap and flames “coming from beneath his legs”.
Mr Schuringa said he frisked the suspect and discovered his trousers were open and that he had a flaming object resembling a small, white shampoo bottle strapped to his left leg near his crotch.
“I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away,” he told CNN.
Mr Schuringa said he patted out the fire with his hands and shouted for water.
As cabin crew arrived with fire extinguishers, the Dutchman hauled the suspect out of his seat and, restraining him in a choke lock, took him to the first class compartment.