Following the Christmas Day near-bombing of Northwest Airlines' Flight 253, the fact that flight 253 on Sunday was again subject to a scare seemed to be more than just a coincidence. In truth, it was simply a coincidence.
However, even more eerie than being the same flight was the fact that once again, it was a Nigerian national involved. However, authorities have said that the man was a Nigerian businessman and had locked himself in the airliner's bathroom.
Authorities have determined that the passenger refused to come out from the restroom, possibly because he may have had "stomach problems," described as food poisoning, that prevented him from leaving. The passenger became abusive when flight attendants opened the door and dragged him out, NBC News reported on-air.
New security procedures on flights, instituted since the Christmas Day incident involving a 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, means that no one can occupy the restroom in the last hour of flight. Abdulmutallab attempted to set off a PETN explosive device as Flight 253 was landing.
Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said crew members requested that security remove the man from Flight 253 after his outburst (Delta is in the process of acquiring Northwest Airlines). The remaining 255 passengers were able to deplane safely, she said.
Authorities said they did not find a device on the passenger, while crews searched luggage, bags and suitcases lined out on the runaway. Authorities used bomb-sniffing dogs to examine the luggage, which were placed single-file on the tarmac.
On Saturday, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was charged with trying to destroy flight 253 plane on Christmas Day. He tried to explode an explosive device but was stopped by passengers and crew, although he did manage to ignite it. A conviction on the charge could bring Abdulmutallab up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Written by Michael Santo