Woman's face burned after headphones explode mid-flight

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Melbourne, Mar 15: A woman suffered facial injuries when her headphones exploded on a flight, in a first such incident in Australia, officials said today as they warned about the dangers of battery-operated devices on planes.

Woman's face burned mid-flight

The passenger was listening to music with her battery- powered headphones when the explosion took place on the flight from Beijing to Melbourne on February 19, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said. The woman had been sleeping on the plane when she heard a loud explosion about two hours into the flight and felt her face burning. She threw her headphones to the floor.

"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," she said in ATSB statement, released today. "As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them." It was the first time a set of headphones catching fire had been reported in Australia, Stuart Godley from the ATSB said.

Smoke and the smell of melted plastic, burnt hair and electronics filled the cabin for the rest of the journey to Melbourne. The battery and cover were both melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft. For the remainder of the flight, passengers endured the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and burnt hair, the statement said.

"People were coughing and choking the entire way home," the passenger said. The bureau said it had assessed that the batteries in the device likely caught fire. It said batteries should be kept in stowage unless in use, and must be in carry-on baggage, not checked baggage.

PTI

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