Headphone batteries explode on flight
SYDNEY: A woman, whose headphones caught fire on a plane, suffered burns to her face and hands, officials said yesterday as they warned about the dangers of battery-operated devices in flights.
The passenger was listening to music on her battery-operated headphones as she dozed about two hours into the trip from Beijing to Melbourne on Feb 19 when there was a loud explosion.
“I turned around and felt burning on my face,” she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which investigated the incident.
“I grabbed my face, causing the headphones to go around my neck. I continued to feel burning, so I took them off and threw them on the floor.
“They were sparking and had small amounts of fire.”
Flight attendants rushed to help and poured a bucket of water on the headphones, but the battery and its cover had melted and was stuck to the floor.
Photos showed the unnamed woman with a blackened face and neck, and blisters on her hands.
Fellow passengers had to endure the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and singed hair for the remainder of the flight.
ATSB did not identify which airline was involved.
It assessed that the lithium-ion batteries in the device had likely caught fire.
It said such devices needed to be stored safely when not in use. AFP