Passenger’s Headphones Explode Mid-flight

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Safety warning after battery-operated headphones explode on long-haul flight to Melbourne

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An exploding battery in a set of headphones has left a woman with burns to her hands, face and hair during a flight from Beijing to Melbourne.

What happened?

The woman told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) that she was sleeping and listening to music about two hours into the flight when she heard an explosion.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she told the ATSB, which issued a statement Wednesday as a warning to other passengers.

“I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck,” she said.

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The woman, who was not identified, said she tore off the headphones and threw them to the floor, where she saw they were shooting off sparks and small flames.

Flight attendants poured water on the headphones, but the battery and cover had already melted and stuck to the floor of the plane.

For the remainder of the flight, passengers endured the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and burnt hair.

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Safety precautions to be taken by passengers:

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says passengers using battery powered devices should be aware of the following:

  • Devices should be kept in an approved stowage, unless in use
  • Spare batteries must be in your carry-on baggage, not checked baggage
  • Locate devices 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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Reference: CNN, Guardian

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