: News

Filed Under:

Silver Spring Man Alerted Attendants During Airline Attack

Play associated audio

By Patrick Madden

A Silver Spring real estate consultant says he heard a "loud explosion" during a Christmas Day Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit and was the first to alert flight attendants.

Alain Ghonda, who was returning home from a business trip to Ghana, says he just did what he had to do. He was sitting one row ahead of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the passenger who authorities say concealed explosives in his underwear and tried to ignite them as the plane came in for a landing. Even though the seat belt sign was on in preparation for landing, Ghonda says he stood to let another passenger return to her seat. That's when he said he heard a "loud explosion" and spotted smoke.

Ghonda says he alerted flight attendants and they, along with two Dutch passengers, subdued Abdulmutallab.


'Steve Jobs': As Ambitious As Its Title Character

Danny Boyle's new biopic, Steve Jobs, is a look at the man who made Apple mean computers, not fruit. NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it's an invigorating story told in three acts of crisis.

Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

The bees that pollinate crops are on the brink of collapse. One big reason why: a virus-carrying mite. Now, researchers think a rare fungi could boost bees' immune system and attack the mite itself.

'Quartet' Member: Nobel Peace Prize Is 'Very Important For Tunisia'

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Wided Bouchamaoui, president of the Tunisian Employers' Union, and a member of the National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia, about winning the Nobel Peace Prize Friday.

Volkswagen Faces Uphill Battle In Repairing Tarnished Reputation

Volkswagen faces two enormous repair jobs: fixing its polluting diesel cars and its battered reputation. Both may be much harder to fix than anything other scandal-plagued car companies have faced.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.