Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Underwear Bomber’s Nemesis Sues Airlines

(CN) - A passenger who claims he was injured risking his life subduing the "underwear bomber" and prevented the destruction of a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009 demands $10 million in damages from the airlines he says negligently allowed the terrorist to board the flight.

In a federal complaint in Manhattan, Theophilus Maranga says he was a passenger aboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 when "a passenger named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate an explosive that he had hidden in his underwear."

"Said explosive was detonated by Mr. Abdulmutallab resulting in him being set on fire, which resulted in physical and emotional damage to the plaintiff," says Maranga, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y.

"In an attempt to save the aircraft from catching on fire and potentially exploding, plaintiff risked his life running over to Mr. Abdulmutallab and then jumping on top of him to extinguish the fire and subdue the threat," according to the complaint.

Maranga says he suffered numerous injuries which required medical treatment, including injuries to the ribs, permanent numbness in his hands, pain in the neck that precludes him from turning to the left without rotating his waist, and removal of a tooth.

Maranga says he also suffers from psychological injuries stemming from the incident.

Maranga blames defendants Delta Airlines and Air France-KLM, whom he claims were negligent in screening passengers and allowing Abdulmutallab to board the fight with an explosive.

He sued under U.S. law and under the Warsaw Convention and the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, also known as the Montreal Convention.

Maranga is represented by Neil Grimaldi of the Bronx.

Abdulmutallab is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to eight criminal charges, including the attempted murders of 289 people with a weapon of mass destruction.

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