Six years for air steward who started fire on plane to 'put it out and be a hero'

Six years for air steward who started fire on plane to 'put it out and be a hero'Stock photo: PA

A flight attendant who started a fire mid-flight in an aeroplane bathroom just so he could put it out and be hailed a hero has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Eder Rojas, 23, from Minnesota, started the fire with 72 passengers and four crew members on board while working on a Compass Airlines flight, according to the Daily Mail.

Prosecutors claimed he started the blaze because he didn't want to work the route from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan.

But, during his sentencing this week, his defense attorney Richard Henderson claimed it was because he suffered from a narcissistic personality disorder and wanted to be seen as a hero by everyone.

Rojas had reportedly taken a lighter on board, and had asked for extra paper towels before the flight departed.

The plane made an emergency landing at Fargo, without physical injury to anyone on board.

But US District Judge Ralph Erickson said it could have been an 'unmitigated disaster', while US attorney Brett Shasky said: "It would have been one big boom. The pilot had visions of passengers on fire before that plane got to ground."

Judge Erickson sentenced him to 74 months in prison and ordered him to pay $100,000 in fines, mostly for damage caused to Compass Airlines and the cost of emergency accommodation for passengers following the incident.

Rojas was reportedly repentant of his crime, saying: "It was selfish of me. I was just thinking of me, myself and I hope the passengers can forgive me for what I did."

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