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EXCLUSIVE: Flight attendant who subdued "shoebomber"

9:30 AM, Feb 22, 2014   |    comments
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10 News speaks exclusively with Cristina Jones, the flight attendant who subdued the "shoebomber", Richard Reid, while on board an airplane, 30,000 feet up in the air.


Tampa, Florida-- Earlier this week, the U.S. government warned airlines about a potential shoe bomb threat, but it's not the first time terrorists have tried to sneak explosives onto a plane in their shoes.

RECENT STORY: Airlines warned about possible shoe bomb threat

In fact one man actually got close to detonating a shoe bomb.

It's a picture that sent chills down American spines. It shows the inside of an international jet just seconds after a lunatic tried to blow it up.  

Just three months after 9/11, Al-Qaeda operative Richard Reid was hellbent on detonating explosives in his shoes, but thanks to one alert flight attendant, he failed. 

Cristina Jones was that flight attendant.

"30,000 feet up in a metal tube is no place for nonsense," says Jones.

When alarmed passengers smelled something burning, Jones raced up the aisle to find Reid bent over in his seat with a pack of matches. What happened next was chilling.

"I didn't see what he was trying to ignite and I didn't need to at that point, so I grabbed him by the upper body and pulled him up from what he was trying to do. He bit me, forcefully, and I screamed out and passengers came to my aid," said Jones.

The first officer with the help of passengers wrapped him up in belts and headphone cables, immobilizing him in his seat. 

Cristina's actions landed her in Time Magazine's edition "Beyond 9-11." 

Photographers captured her image of steeley determination and bravery. Now, Jones speaks exclusively with 10 News for one let people know that at 30,000 feet, flight attendants are the first line of defense to save lives.

"People need to understand our position on the airplane and our primary concern is safety and security," said Jones.

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