TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Passengers on a flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale were forced to evacuate the plane when a passenger’s backpack reportedly exploded on Monday.
According to NBC affiliate WTVJ, the flight was still at the gate when Jimmy Levy’s bag exploded. Levy is a well-known rapper and Trump supporter, often seen wearing MAGA hats on social media. He recently posted a photo of himself posing with the former president on Instagram.
“My first reaction was like wow this is an attack like I thought someone was attacking me I had no clue what to think,” Jimmy Levy told WTVJ.
Officials said Levy’s portable phone charger battery caused the explosion.
A video shows Jet Blue employees rush to pour water on his belongings as passengers lined up to exit the plane.
“I fell asleep and I laid my head against the window and two minutes later, a giant explosion came and the ball of fire, which was my backpack came right toward my face. I was shocked. When I pushed down the backpack it kind of landed on my lap so it started burning my thigh right away and I pushed it down to the ground and started stomping on,” Levy said.
Levy believes the timing was “divine” and “it was God that delayed the plane.” The outcome could’ve been worse if they were up in the air, considering the cabin pressure.
“On Monday I faced one of scariest moments of my life….Please be mindful of where you get your phone products from. In my case, my charger came from a fancy mall in Boca, Florida, but I guess you can’t trust anything these days,” Levy said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
The rapper appeared on American Idol in 2020, and rose to fame this year with his song “Boycott Target”, which he made with fellow pro-Trump rapper Forgiato Blow in response to Target’s Pride Month merchandise.
In a statement obtained by WTVJ, Jet Blue said, “Our crew immediately responded and addressed the situation, and there were no requests for medical assistance. Safety is our number one priority, and we are investigating the incident.”