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Safety Warning After Mid Air Headphone Explosion

Transport Safety Bureau warning

Safety Warning After Mid Air Headphone Explosion

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a warning after a pair of battery operated headphones exploded mid-flight, while a woman was asleep on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne. 

ATSB believes the batteries caught fire, leaving the woman suffering from burns.

The warnings says the passenger heard the explosion, about two hours into the flight.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she said. “I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck."

“I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire."

“As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them. They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane.”

The battery and cover were both melted and stuck to the floor. 

The model of the headphones and battery has not been revealed.

A reminder for passangers:

  • batteries should be kept in an approved stowage, unless in use
  • spare batteries must be in your carry-on baggage NOT checked baggage
  • if a passenger’s smart phone or other device has fallen into the seat gap, locate their device before moving powered seats
  • if a passenger cannot locate their device, they should refrain from moving their seat and immediately contact a cabin crew member.
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