Hero Passenger: 'My Hands Are Pretty Burned'

Amsterdam native helped subdue terror suspect, get him handcuffed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2009 9:42 AM CST

(Newser) – Details are emerging today on how quick-acting passengers, one in particular, helped subdue the would-be terrorist aboard a Detroit-bound plane. One passenger identified as Jasper Schuringa tells CNN he pulled the suspect from his seat when the commotion began and dragged him to the front of the plane where he was handcuffed by a crew member. "My hands are pretty burned," said Schuringa, a director from Amsterdam. "I am shaken up. I am happy to be here."

Witnesses say they heard a pop like a firecracker, then saw smoke near the Nigerian man identified as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. That's when Schuringa lunged over to the suspect's seat across the aisle and pulled a burning object from his lap, possibly a packet containing combustible powder or a syringe used to ignite the powder. "I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away," said Schuringa. He and others stripped the suspect of his clothes to make sure he had no other explosives. He "was staring into nothing," said Schuringa.

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