A flight attendant who allegedly started a fire on board an American Airline plane, then pretended to have discovered a fire and put it out, has been charged to court in the US on federal charges.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said an investigation revealed that Tafoya-Montano started the fire incident on an American Airlines Flight 1418 on Feb. 1, which led to an emergency landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He was arrested on March 1 and charged with “destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities” and making false statements to authorities.
After intentionally setting fire to paper towels using a lighter, he put much of the fire out, then stood outside the bathroom for a few minutes, pretended to discover the fire, and fully extinguished smoldering remnants, according to court documents. There’s no known motive yet.
Tafoya-Montano was released on bond with conditions; he’s not allowed to fly without the court’s permission.
If convicted, he could face fines or up to 20 years in prison. Tafoya-Montano had been working for American Airline for about a year and a half.