Flight Attendant Sets Fire on American Airlines Plane Midflight
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
A crew member on an American Airlines flight reportedly started a fire in the bathroom of the plane, claimed he discovered it and then extinguished the blaze.
According to Alastair Jamieson of NBCNews.com, 23-year-old Johnathan Tafoya-Montano from Texas was working on American Airlines Flight AA1418 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Detroit in February when authorities claim he deliberately started a fire in the lavatory of the plane.
Tafoya-Montano then extinguished the flames, and the pilot was forced to tell air traffic controllers that he needed to make an immediate landing in Detroit. After the plane landed safely, the passengers and crew were removed from the aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the fire and determined it was set on purpose. Investigators found that no one had been in the bathroom besides Tafoya-Montano within 15-20 minutes of the fire breaking out.
As a result, Tafoya-Montano was arrested Tuesday and charged with destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities and lying to investigators. According to reports, Tafoya-Montano admitted to authorities that he set the fire by lighting paper towels on fire before putting it out with a fire extinguisher.
American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein told NBCNews.com, “We take this matter very seriously, and have been cooperating with law enforcement throughout their investigation.”
For more Impacting Travel News
More by Donald Wood
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions