Vape and External Battery Reportedly Cause Fire Aboard Spirit Airlines Flight

    A line of Spirit Airlines planes on the tarmac at Orlando International Airport.  A Spirit Airlines flight made an emergency landing after an occupant battery caught fire.

A Spirit Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Jacksonville, Florida, after a battery in the overhead bin caught fire.
picture: Chris O’Meara (AP)

A Spirit Airlines plane had to make an emergency stop along its route Wednesday after a battery-powered device inside the overhead luggage compartment caught fire. Local reports said the plane quickly filled with smoke as the flight attendants worked to douse the flames. A retired firefighter on board told local reporters that the device that caught fire was a battery-powered vape device connected to a charging pack.

So if you’re still wondering why flight crews ask passengers if they have any items with a lithium-ion battery in them, this story is just another reminder to know what kind of battery you’re packing. But seriously, just turn it on and remove the battery before getting on the plane.

Spirit Flight 259 took off from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for Orlando Wednesday afternoon, but was forced to land at about 4 p.m. ET. According to Jacksonville NBC affiliate WTLVThe plane made an emergency landing at Jacksonville International Airport where emergency responders sent one person directly to the hospital from the airport. A video from a passenger posted on Twitter showed firefighters entering after the flight made an emergency landing.

Jacksonville Local Rescue Division Capt. Eric Bruswimmer told local outlets that more people, including crew members, started feeling unwell around 6 p.m. By the end of the day, a total of 10 people had been sent for medical treatment after feeling ill. Spirit Airlines confirmed in a statement to multiple outlets that the fire was from “what is believed to be a battery fire from a guest item in an overhead bin”.

local station WJXT Rocco Chiricella, a retired New York City firefighter, was quoted as saying he tried to help put out the flames. He claimed that the device that caught fire was a “battery-powered vape device attached to a battery that charges inside the cabin.” He claimed the battery and then some of the surrounding baggage caught fire. Chierichella said Action News Jax He had blisters on his hands while trying to put out the fire.

Transportation Security Administration notes Passengers can take lithium-ion batteries in their carry-on bags as long as they are 100 Wh or less. It is forbidden to place loose lithium-ion batteries in checked bags.

Gizmodo hasn’t been able to independently verify that it was a vaping device that caused the fire, but any kind of connected battery device is a bad idea on a flight. soul who is currently plans to be acquired by rival JetBluehad previously issued a lifetime ban to one passenger For allegedly using a vape on a flight. But beyond that, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries You run the risk of getting temperatures out of control, whether through short circuits or excessive ambient temperatures. Then all that extra stored energy is released Sometimes it leads to combustion.

Although still extremely rare, other devices with lithium-ion batteries have caught fire while on board aircraft, such as iPhone 6 that caught fire on board a Boeing 787 in 2016. There is also an infamous case for the Galaxy Note 7″ExplosionBack in 2017. After The International Civil Aviation Organization banned cargo shipments For lithium-ion batteries, the FAA has also implemented a Banning the carriage of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.

Update 03/03/23 at 7 a.m. ET: This post has been updated to include additional information from the TSA.


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