Headphones explode mid-flight, passenger suffers burns to face & neck

The passenger said aircraft staff reacted quickly to the incident. 'As I went to stamp my foot on them (the headphones) the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them.' Photograph:( AFP )

WION Delhi, India Mar 15, 2017, 06.34 AM (IST)

A woman suffered burns to her face and hands when her headphones exploded on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne.

The passenger was listening to music on her battery-operated headphones when there was a loud explosion. The incident took place on February 19.

"As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face," she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) which investigated the incident. 

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
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"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. 

She said aircraft staff reacted quickly to the incident. “As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them.”

The battery and cover were both melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft.

"People were coughing and choking the entire way home," the woman added.

The transport safety bureau, which did not identify which airline was involved, assessed that the lithium-ion batteries in the device likely caught fire.

"As the range of products using batteries grows, the potential for in-flight issues increases," it said, reminding travellers using battery-powered devices they must be kept in approved stowage unless in use.

Spare batteries should be kept in carry-on luggage, it added.

(WION with inputs from AFP)