Food Poisoning Blamed In Second Northwest Flight 253 Bomb Scare

Nigerian passenger became "unruly" after crew forced him out of bathroom.

ByABC News
December 27, 2009, 2:29 PM

Dec. 27, 2009 — -- A second scare of a possible bomb on Northwest Airlines flight 253 Sunday was the result of a passenger who refused to come out of the bathroom because he was sick with food poisoning, law enforcement officials told

FBI agents and local police swarmed the plane as it landed in Detroit just after 12:30 local time after the pilot reported an "belligerent and uncooperative" passenger who had spent more than an hour in the bathroom as the flight neared Detroit.

Authorities said the passenger was a 36-year old Nigerian petroleum engineer who became unhappy when he was ordered to his seat one hour before landing, as required under new in-flight rules following the attempted Christmas day bombing of the same flight by another Nigerian citizen. The passenger supervises 90 employees at the multinational petroleum company he works for in Yemen. One official said he appeared to be traveling with his wife.

Authorities took passengers and all baggage of the Northwest flight in a remote location at the Detroit airport. There were 256 passengers on the Amsterdam to Detroit flight.

Officials gave an "all clear" message a short time later after interviewing the Nigerian passenger and determining he was, indeed, ill.