Have you ever been on a flight and experienced something that made you question your safety? For the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 2664, that fear became a reality on Tuesday when an electrical device caught fire in the cabin shortly after takeoff.
The flight, which was heading to Newark Liberty International Airport, had to return to San Diego International Airport when a passenger’s external battery pack burst into flames. Four people were taken to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, and several flight attendants were also taken as a precaution.
Passenger Caroline Lipinski described the terrifying experience to a local news station, saying, “There was smoke in the cabin, I was terrified.” Another passenger, Stephan Jones, recounted how some people on the flight were “gasping, screaming” while the flight attendants rushed to contain the fire.
The crew on board United Airlines Flight 2664 acted quickly and placed the battery in a special fire bag, preventing the flames from spreading and avoiding a potential disaster.
The crew on board United Airlines Flight 2664 acted quickly and placed the battery in a special fire bag, preventing the flames from spreading and avoiding a potential disaster. The plane landed safely back at the airport just 44 minutes after takeoff.
While lithium-ion batteries, like the one that caught fire on the United Airlines flight, are widely used in electronic devices, they have been known to overheat and cause fires. Airlines allow passengers to bring these batteries on carry-on luggage but not in checked bags.
This incident is not the first in-flight fire caused by a battery.In December 2022, a Lufthansa flight traveling from Los Angeles to Germany was forced to change its route and land in Chicago due to a laptop that caught fire on board.
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A few weeks later, a JetBlue flight from Barbados to New York had to be evacuated because of a fire that may have originated from a battery. These incidents highlight the importance of proper battery handling and the potential risks associated with them.
The FAA will investigate the incident on United Airlines Flight 2664 to determine what caused the battery to catch fire. This investigation will likely shed more light on the safety of lithium-ion batteries on airplanes and what can be done to prevent these types of incidents in the future.
In the meantime, United Airlines has expressed their gratitude to the crew for their quick actions in containing the fire and ensuring the safety of all passengers on board. The airline has also made arrangements to get all passengers to their destinations.
While incidents like this may be rare, they serve as a reminder that safety should always be the top priority in air travel. It’s important for both airlines and passengers to take the right steps to make sure that everyone stays safe during a flight.
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