Compass Airlines Flight 2040


Compass Airlines Flight 2040

Compass Airlines Flight 2040 is a scheduled flight from Minneapolis to Regina from Northwest subisdiary Compass Airlines. On May 7, 2008 it made an emergency landing after an in-flight fire with 72 passengers and four crew members on board. On May 15, Eder H. Rojas, 19, a flight attendant on the flight was charged by the FBI after admitting to starting the fire.

Fire

The fire started in a towel compartment in the aircraft's rear bathroom. [http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=6550756&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1 Woodbury Man Charged With Starting Fire on Northwest/Compass Flight] ] Pilot Steve Peterka said a warning light came on after 35 minutes showing a smoke detector had come on in the bathroom and he told Rojas to check the room as he was responsible for the rear of the plane; he, Gloria Rodz (the other flight attendant on board) and a passenger extinguished the fire with fire extinguishers and the plane made an emergency landing. [http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=4866671 Flight Attendant Accused of Setting Fire on Airplane] ]

Investigation

A lighter was found in an overhead luggage bin when the plane landed. FBI agents from Fargo arrested Rojas after determining they thought he started the fire. They said his motive was anger at being forced by his airline to fly on that particular route. It is alleged he took a lighter from a workmate's house and bypassed security with it; he then requested extra towels for the flight. During the flight he used the lighter to start the fire. After "outstanding cooperation" with authorities he was charged with setting fire to a civil aircraft, an offence which carries a maximum twenty year prison sentence. He was also fired. The investigation was led by FBI special agent Ralph Boelter.

References


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