Laptop explodes on plane, injuring flight attendants and tourists

A laptop exploded on the plane: flight attendants and tourists were injured

At least four people have been injured in a laptop battery fire onboard United Airlines Flight 2664, according to CBS News. The passenger plane was on a domestic flight to the US on the San Diego-Newark route on Tuesday morning. The fire was neutralized, the victims were hospitalized.

The plane was heading to Liberty International Airport (Newark, New Jersey), but due to an emergency on board shortly after takeoff, it had to return to San Diego International Airport. The Boeing 737 landed at a California airport around 7:30 a.m. PT after the flight crew “reported a laptop on fire in the cabin,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration. According to media reports, the laptop bag belonged to a first-class passenger.

The San Diego Fire Department confirmed to the publication that a “power bank” was the cause of the fire. The carrier's statement specified that the battery “ignited”, the reasons for the incident were not specified. The flight crew used fire extinguishers and then placed the burning item in a fire bag to prevent the fire from spreading, according to the department. This saved the board from further spread of flame and smoke. “We thank our crew for their swift action, which put the safety of everyone on board the aircraft at the forefront,” United said in a statement. Shortly after landing, passengers began to talk on their personal pages on social networks that the cabin was smoky, and some fellow travelers were “choking and screaming”, panic began in the cabin.

Four flight attendants were injured due to smoke and fire and were taken to the UC San Diego hospital “as a precautionary measure,” the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department also reported on its social media pages. Two more tourists refused hospitalization. All other passengers and crew members on board the aircraft underwent an initial screening. The delayed travelers were sent to New Jersey on the next flight around 11:45 am. The FAA is investigating the incident.

Help: Lithium-ion batteries, widely used in modern consumer electronics, overheat and cause a fire. Airlines allow them to be carried in hand luggage, but not in the luggage compartment. Household batteries in 99% of cases of this type are afraid of frost below -20°C and heat above +60°C.

Earlier in December, a Lufthansa passenger plane en route from Los Angeles (USA) to Germany made an emergency landing in Chicago because of a laptop on fire. In the same month, passengers on an American low-cost JetBlue plane en route from Barbados to New York were evacuated at their destination after a fire that could have started from a battery, authorities said. Then more than 160 tourists went down the emergency ladders, five received minor injuries. A larger-scale aircraft fire in its consequences due to a lithium-ion battery installed in an electric bicycle happened in November last year in New York. More than 30 people were injured in the fire.

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