[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 19:52 GMT 20:52 UK
Officer hosed down terror suspect
Pc Stewart Ferguson
Pc Ferguson used a fire extinguisher to douse the flames
An off-duty police officer has told how he hosed down a blazing terror suspect following the failed car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport.

Pc Stewart Ferguson, 40, had gone to the airport to pick up his parents when Saturday's emergency unfolded.

The father-of-two, from Erskine, Renfrewshire, described how he and his colleagues tackled the two suspects.

The emergency services and members of the public have been praised for their response to the attack.

Pc Ferguson, who has 22 years' experience with Strathclyde Police, was alerted to the attack while chatting with another officer, Sgt Torquil Campbell.

'Natural reaction'

He said: "There was a disturbance a few hundred yards along the forecourt.

"Some people were running towards our direction and shouting that there had been some kind of accident at the front of the building.

"Sgt Campbell took off towards the scene - it seemed to me to be a natural reaction to follow him.

"I followed him to the scene and saw the car."

I was quite impressed how quickly it managed to extinguish him
Pc Stewart Ferguson

Pc Ferguson said his first memory was of Sgt Campbell being assaulted by one of the suspects rather than seeing the burning Jeep Cherokee.

"I thought then it was a road rage-type incident," he said. "But it quickly dawned on me that this was no angry motorist - this was something completely different.

"Then I was aware of some airport personnel trying to assist Sgt Campbell by trying to subdue this chap.

"It was only when the chap had been subdued that I then was able to look at the vehicle again to see the second guy.

"He was well ablaze - clothing, hair, skin - and from the attitude that he was in, lying on his back, there was a kind of resignation about him."

Forensic teams at the scene
Those involved in dealing with the incident have been praised

Pc Ferguson ran into the building to where he knew the fire extinguishers were kept.

"I went back out, pulled the pin out, and I just began to spray," he said.

"I was quite impressed how quickly it managed to extinguish him."

"Then Sgt Campbell appeared on the scene and he then started spraying the chap with his CS spray.

"Once the flames had been extinguished in his hair and body I aimed the jet in his eyes, just trying to disorientate him."

Glasgow Airport worker John Smeaton, who helped tackle one of the terror suspects, was praised in the House of Commons as the "one man scourge of international terrorism".

The comments were made by the SNP MP Peter Wishart, who wants Prime Minister Gordon Brown to officially honour those who helped.

Meanwhile, police chiefs in Scotland warned that the public remained at "real and serious" risk from terrorism despite the downgrading of the UK threat level on Wednesday.

Chief Constable Colin McKerracher of Grampian Police, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos), urged the public to remain vigilant.

"Although protective security levels will become less intense, there will remain higher than usual levels of police activity to reflect recent events in Glasgow and London," he said.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How police officers reacted to the bomb attack



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific