Headphones’ Battery Explodes Mid-flight, Reigniting Fears Of Batteries On Planes

Headphones’ Battery Explodes Mid-flight, Reigniting Fears Of Batteries On Planes
acunha1973 / Pixabay

A headphones battery could be a huge risk for you the next time you fly. This week, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued a safety warning after a woman got burned by a pair of battery-powered headphones that exploded on a flight to Australia.

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Not only your phones, but your headphones are risky too

Authorities are taking the issue very seriously, especially after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, which forced Samsung to recall millions of handsets. Late last year, people were shocked after reading or hearing about the explosions of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Now, the fear of batteries will have certainly peaked.

The woman was traveling from Beijing to Melbourne when the headphones battery exploded. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the woman received burns across her neck, hand, lips and face when the headphones caught fire.

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According to a news release posted to the ATSB website, the woman said, “As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face. 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.”

The scent of burned electronics clouded the plane all the way to Australia. The passengers were choking and coughing the entire way home, said the woman.

Be very careful with  batteries

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the incident took place on February 19. The bureau declined to disclose the brand of the battery and headphones. An ATSB spokesman also didn’t provide the name of the airline. The spokesman, however, did say that the woman followed all the rules and regulations in respect to batteries on aircraft. The battery that most likely was the reason of explosion ended up melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft, said the bureau.

Nevertheless, the ATSB is on alert again and has renewed its safety advice. The agency is warning people that spare batteries of any device must be kept in a carry-on bag, and that the airline passengers must not shift their powered seat to find their phone, notes CNET. If the phone has fallen into the seat gap, attempts to locate it by moving the scene, could increase the risk of battery damage and explosion.

There have been several incidents involving airplanes and risky batteries. Not only the Galaxy Note 7, but hoverboards have also been subject to airline bans over concerns of exploding batteries.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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  1. The batteries were likely made in China. Why would the ATSB withhold the name of the battery manufacturer? Aren’t they interested in saving lives, or just investigating accidents?

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