Aviation

Crushed phone starts “smoking” during flight to Melbourne

Just in case you need a reminder of why you should contact a flight attendant if you drop your phone on a flight, this passenger found out the hard way so you don’t have to.

Two hours before landing, a Qantas flight travelling from Los Angelas to Melbourne on Wednesday morning had a bit of a scare when a business class passenger dropped their phone.

The device became stuck in their seat and was crushed when the passenger moved the seat to retrieve it, causing it to start “smoking” according to the ABC. 

Which, as you can imagine, was a bit frightening for some people on the flight.

According to News Corp, passengers noticed the smell of burnt rubber at around 6 am and cabin crew rushed through the cabin with fire extinguishers.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” one passenger said.

“The (flight attendant) was on the internal phone when two male hostesses grabbed fire extinguishers and ran up the stairs to business.”

Cabin crew announced everything was under control ten minutes after the incident occurred and the flight continued to Melbourne.

“They didn’t say there was a fire, but … my friend overheard two guys talking at the baggage carousel and said the seat was completely destroyed,” the passenger said, according to News Corp.

“It was pretty scary … it panicked a few people.”

A Qantas spokesperson told the ABC the incident is a reminder to passengers not to pick up any electronic devices dropped while flying.

“This incident shows why we ask passengers to seek help from our cabin crew in retrieving their mobile phone,” the spokesperson said.

During an investigation into a similar incident which occurred in 2016, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) warned of the risk posed by lithium batteries found in mobile phones, citing the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

“Lithium batteries are capable of ignition and subsequent explosion due to overheating,” the administration said, according to the ABC.

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