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Woman suffers burns to her face, hands and neck after headphones explode mid-flight

by Josh Levenson | March 15, 2017March 15, 2017 1:00 pm PDT

A woman has suffered burns to her face, hands and neck after her battery-powered headphones blew up during a recent flight from Beijing to Melbourne, reveals the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The explosion occurred two hours after take-off, when the unnamed woman was woken up by a loud bang after the battery, which melted and later stuck to the floor of the plane, in her headphones (brand unknown) caught fire.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. “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.”

For the remainder of the flight, passengers endured the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and scorched hair. “People were coughing and choking the entire way home,” the woman said.

As a result, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has reminded passengers with battery-operated devices to stow them correctly and keep spares in carry-on, not checked, baggage.

This isn’t the first time a device has caught fire on a plane

This isn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, time a device has exploded on a plane. If you cast your mind back to October, you may recall that a Galaxy Note 7 burst into flames on an aircraft, but fortunately it was still at the gate.


Josh Levenson

Josh Levenson is an avid technology enthusiast who writes news and the occasional how-to. He's also a self-proclaimed sneakerhead and has been an...

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