Crushed Electronic Gadget Caused Fire On Qantas Flight

Image courtesy of (So Cal Metro)

Discussion of the now-recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and its occasionally exploding batteries had an interesting side effect: it brought the problem of lithium-ion battery fires, even those caused by non-Samsung devices, back to the headlines. Like the device that was crushed inside the seat mechanism and caught fire during a recent flight from Los Angeles to New York.

We don’t know the device’s brand, but we do know that it was battery-powered and that the passenger was hunting for the missing portable device in his or her seat at the time of the fire. Instead, something in the seat mechanism crushed the device and its battery, causing a fire, or something else that made the seat give off an “orange glow.”

Fortunately, there were fire extinguishers and quick-thinking fire attendants on board, and they put the fire out twice, with the plane arriving in New York safely and on time.

It would be impossible and impractical to ban electronics from consumer flights, and the airline notes that this is the first time in 22 reported battery incidents when there’s been an actual fire.

Batteries have caught fire on cargo planes, and bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries have been restricted for that reason.

Qantas Warns of Fire Risk After Device Combusts on New York Trip [Bloomberg Technology]

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