BA Dreamliner plane grounded by passenger's overheated mobile phone

Aircraft diverted 'as a precaution' due to faulty device

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The Independent Online

A British Airways Dreamliner plane was forced to divert after a passenger's overheated mobile phone caused a scare in the cabin.

The BA18 flight from Seoul to London's Heathrow made an unplanned landing at Irkutsk Airport in southern Russia when the faulty device began emitting smoke.

BA said the aircraft made a short stop at the airport - around 160 miles from the Mongolian border - "as a precaution".

A spokeswoman for the airline told The Independent the plane refuelled before resuming its journey to the UK, where it was due to land at around 2.40pm.

"We're sorry for the delay to the service, after our experienced pilots diverted the aircraft as a precaution," BA said in a statement.

A Radar Box image showing the diversion to BA18's flight path

"The flight is now on its way again. The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority."

The airline dismissed reports the diversion was due to smoke in the aircraft's cockpit.

Boeing 787 Dreamliners suffered a series of technical problems, mostly linked to electrical faults caused by lithium batteries, in the first few years after the planes entered service in 2011.

But the aircrafts - which can carry up to 335 passengers - have enjoyed a largely trouble-free history since January 2014.