Airline passenger suffers burns to face, neck and hands after headphones explode mid-flight

Passengers endure smell of melted plastic and burnt hair for remainder of journey

The woman had been dozing on a plane travelling from Beijing to Melbourne when she heard a loud explosion
The woman had been dozing on a plane travelling from Beijing to Melbourne when she heard a loud explosion

An airline passenger suffered burns to her face, neck and hands after her headphones blew up mid-flight.

The unnamed woman had been dozing on the plane travelling from Beijing to Melbourne when she heard a loud explosion two hours after take-off.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). “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. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire.

“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 cause of the explosion was likely to be the headphones' lithium-ion batteries catching fire, the ATSB said.

The passenger suffered burns to her face, neck and hands

It was so severe that the battery and its cover became stuck to the floor of the aircraft.

For the rest of the flight, passengers endured the smell of melted plastic and burnt hair.

“People were coughing and choking the entire way home,” the woman said.

The ATSB has reminded all passengers to keep any spare batteries in carry-on baggage.

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