Firebug Sets Blazes On 777

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Authorities in Abu Dhabi detained 12 people but didn't file any charges after five separate fires were deliberately set aboard an Etihad flight from Melbourne, Australia. Distraught passengers reported smoke and flame pouring from bathrooms on the Boeing 777 ER at various times during the flight, which included a two-hour diversion to Jakarta. “A comprehensive investigation into the incidents onboard ... is still under way,” the airline said in an emailed statement. “The aircraft was searched and released shortly after arrival at Abu Dhabi when it was confirmed it was safe to do so.”

Passengers said they didn't feel especially safe when the plane landed in Indonesia after fires in two bathrooms. The aircraft was emptied and all the passengers were searched and relieved of lighters, matches and anything else that might light a fire. However, everyone was allowed back on the aircraft. About two hours out from Abu Dhabi, over the Indian Ocean, more fires occurred and the captain stationed cabin crew members outside every bathroom door for the balance of the flight. One of the passengers told reporters that a crew member said whoever started the fires lit the wax-coated airsickness and sanitary bags in drawers. All the fires were extinguished quickly and there were no injuries.