Woman’s Headphones Catch Fire, Explode After She Falls Asleep on Flight to Australia

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A passenger’s face was left blackened and her hand blistered after her battery-powered headphones caught fire while she was traveling on an international flight between Beijing and Melbourne.

A passenger’s face was left blackened and her hand blistered after her battery-powered headphones caught fire while she was traveling on an international flight between Beijing and Melbourne. (Credit: ATSB)

The woman told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), that she was sleeping and listening to music about two hours into the flight when she heard an explosion.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she told the ATSB, which issued a statement Wednesday as a warning to other passengers.

“I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck,” she said.

The woman, who was not identified, said she tore off the headphones and threw them to the floor, where she saw they were shooting off sparks and small flames.

“As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them. They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane,” she said.

A passenger’s face was left blackened and her hand blistered after her battery-powered headphones caught fire while she was traveling on an international flight between Beijing and Melbourne. (Credit: ATSB)

They couldn’t remove all of the headphones however — both the battery and cover had melted into the aircraft floor.

“People were coughing and choking the entire way home,” the passenger told the ATSB, adding the cabin reeked of melted plastic and burnt hair.

In a statement, the ATSB said it was likely the batteries inside the headphones had caught fire, rather than the headphones themselves.

A spokesman for the ATSB said the incident had occurred on February 19. He declined to say what brand of headphones or batteries were involved.

 

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