Hero passenger 'jumped' into action to save plane

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.


More in this Section

Donald Trump and Twitter duel over president’s vow to crack down in MinneapolisDonald Trump and Twitter duel over president’s vow to crack down in Minneapolis

Timing of Boris Johnson’s announcement on allowing group meet-ups in UK questionedTiming of Boris Johnson’s announcement on allowing group meet-ups in UK questioned

Global backlash after CNN reporter arrested live on air by US policeGlobal backlash after CNN reporter arrested live on air by US police

UK police probe death of man at castle after ‘altercation with two youths’UK police probe death of man at castle after ‘altercation with two youths’


Lifestyle

A Spectacular 28.86-carat ring, the largest D-colour diamond ever offered online, will come up at Christie's Jewels in New York from June 16-30.High value diamond adds serious sparkle to online sale

A whiff of new normality is in the air, writes Des O'SullivanAntiques: How to put a post-lockdown world in the frame

Buy everything on Michelle Darmody’s list and create five meals.One List, Five Meals: Irish stew with a twist; Yellow Pepper Omelette

‘There are two of us, in it together’From Chestnut to Sage - how family food businesses, real labours of love, are coping with Covid

More From The Irish Examiner