We have seen hoverboards, phones and portable electric fans exploding. Now, we have exploding headphones on airplanes and it feels like a déjà vu as it reminds every one of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
Battery-powered headphones explode during flight
The slumber of a woman, who was dozing on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne, was cut short when she was woken by the sound of an explosion, while she listened to music. She tore the headphones off to discover that her battery-powered headphones exploded. The blasting singed her hair and caused burns on her face, neck and hand.
"I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck,” the unidentified woman said to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). “I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor," she recalled adding the headphones were sparking and had small amounts of fire.
The ATSB assessed the batteries in the device likely caught on fire. It added that the battery and cover had melted and were stuck to the floor of the aircraft. It didn’t say what headphone brand the passenger was using.
ATSB issues safety warning on battery-powered devices
Even without the exploding headphones, airlines have already been on high alert over battery safety after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was banned from flights in 2016 due to many issues with batteries catching fire. The ATSB has published a set of guidelines for traveling safely with batteries and power packs.
The bureau cautioned that batteries should be kept in an approved storage, unless in use. It added that spare batteries must be in carry-on baggage and not in checked baggage. According to the bureau, passengers should not shift their powered seat if they can't locate a phone, due to the risk of damaging the battery if the phone has fallen into the seat gap.
Lithium battery issues on flights
In recent years, there are already has been a number of issues with lithium batteries on flights. It can be recalled that in 2016, a plane about to take off from Sydney had to be interrupted when smoke was seen coming from a piece of hand luggage. It was discovered that a set of lithium batteries had caught fire in the luggage.
Also last year, faulty batteries in the Note 7 caused many of the smartphones to overheat, explode and melt. Such incidents, which also occurred on planes, lead international aviation authorities to ban the device from flights. The smartphone was later recalled by Samsung, and eventually, production was halted.
What do you think of the exploding headphones during a flight and the safety threat it imposes? Let us know in the comments section below.