NEAL BOUDETTE and ANDY PASZTOR, WSJ: Seconds after passengers spotted flames climbing above the back of a window seat midway down the left side of Northwest Flight 253, Friday’s routine descent toward Detroit’s main airport turned into horror, mayhem and instant heroism.
Just as the widebody Airbus A330 made a rumbling sound as the landing gear started down, horrified travellers in seats around the young Nigerian later detained as a terrorism suspect started screaming, according to eyewitness reports by passengers. Flight attendants quickly joined the hubbub around the man in seat 19A, repeatedly screaming “What are you doing?”
There was a pop and then smoke wafted through the cabin. A passenger then climbed over several seats, lunged across the aisle and managed to subdue the suspect, the eyewitnesses said. The Nigerian man was placed in a headlock before being dragged up to the first class cabin. Passenger Zeina Seagal told CNN that after the suspect was collared and parts of his burning pants were removed, flight attendants quickly grabbed fire extinguishers and doused the fire at his seat.
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