Passenger’s Headphones Explode on Beijing to Melbourne Flight – Sparks Safety Warning

An airline passenger has spoken of her horror when her headphones exploded on her face mid flight.

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Headphone On Plane (source: Enki Village)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issue a warning after a passenger’s battery-operated headphones exploded on a recent flight from Beijing to Melbourne.

The passenger, whose name has been concealed by the ATSB, was left with a burnt face, hand and burnt hair.

She was listening to music on a pair of her own battery-operated headphones when she fell asleep about two hours into the flight. Then she heard a loud explosion.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face”, she said. “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”.

Flight attendants were there quickly with a bucked of water to pour on the headphones, but the battery and cover had already melted and were stuck to the floor of the aircraft.

The passenger was left with singed hair and eyebrows and a burnt hand, photos show her with black soot covering her face.

In it’s safety warning the ATSB said the likelihood for similar in-flight issues is increasing, as the range of battery-powered devices grow.

Therefore, these devices should be stowed when not in use and spare batteries must be kept in carry-on baggage, the warning said.

The Civil Aviation and Safety Authority provides more information on how to travel safely with batteries and portable power packs.