Nigerian National Ignites Firecracker on Delta Airline

December 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
At first, Delta Airlines said a passenger ignited firecrackers on board the plane from Amsterdam to Detroit. But now, we're learning that a Nigerian National, identified as Abdul Mudallad, has been taken into custody for the failed incident.

Flight 253, operated by Delta Airlines, sat on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, surrounded by emergency vehicles.

According to the FAA the pilots declared an in-flight emergency after a fire indicator light went on following a small explosion in the passenger cabin.

"We heard a loud pop, and a bit of a smoke, some flames and yelling and screaming," said Illiaa Schelke a Flight 253 Passenger

The plane landed safely in Detroit, where authorities learned one of the passengers had taped explosive powder to his leg, then used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder to cause the explosion.

"There was one guy, who sat on the other side, the right side of the wing because this was on the left side of the wing, and he jumped over the other people and he took care of it, " Peter Smith Flight, a 253 Passenger.

"The passenger, a Nigerian national, was taken into custody," said a Federal Situational Awareness bulletin, and is being questioned and treated for burns.

Two other passengers were injured. The bulletin also states "The subject is claiming to have extremest affiliations and that the device was acquired in Yemen."

The incident is similar to the attempt by Richard Reid eight-years ago this month to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami by putting explosives in his shoes. Reid is now serving a life sentence after being convicted by a British court on three counts of terrorism.

Federal authorities tell ABC News, there's no confirmation that Al Qaeda is involved or whether the explosives could have actually brought the plane down.


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