The burned carpet on the British Airways plane damaged by a burning battery The burned carpet on the British Airways plane damaged by a burning battery

A huge British Airways passenger plane suffered a blaze scare while flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

The double-decker British Airways Airbus A380-800 was flying from Miami in Florida to Heathrow in London on January 20 when a passenger’s mobile phone caught fire.

According to online news website the Aviation Herald, the passenger was travelling on the upper deck when he felt the mobile phone in his shirt pocket becoming hot.

He took it out, opened the battery cover and watched in horror as the battery caught fire. The passenger dropped the phone and battery onto the floor where the battery burned into the carpet, causing thick smoke.

The passenger poured some Coke over the phone and cabin crew quickly arrived and put the battery into a bucket of water before placing it in a secure container.

Andrew Baines, a passenger on the plane, said: “I was sitting approximately four rows behind where this happened and it was a frightening experience. Thick white smoke quickly developed and filled the section of the cabin with passengers evacuating into the other cabin sections. There was some confusion as to what was happening at first and immediate panic by the passengers close by.”

Responses at the bottom of the Aviation Herald story include one that says: “Unless we address this recurring issue with Li-ion batteries on airplanes soon, there will be an on board fire that brings a passenger plane down.”

Another passenger posted: “I was travelling from Bangkok to Sydney and as they scanned my hand luggage they noticed I had a GoPro and spare battery. They made me open my bag to check it was packaged correctly to avoid it getting damaged or crushed and all was fine. The worst about the whole check was that I had an engagement ring in my bag and my now-fiancé stood with me.”

* The problem of fires in personal electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops on passenger planes seems to be growing. One way to tackle such incidents on planes is to use an AvSax fire containment bag which can deal with fires in personal electronic devices and are now carried on aircraft operated by 65 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known.

AvSax  – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 - has been used 28 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

More than 13,000 AvSax are now carried on aircraft worldwide. Deployment is so effective that extremely expensive diversions to alternate airports are avoided. 

* Written by Andy Hirst at AH! PR http://www.ah-pr.com/