An e-cigarette sparked a blaze scare on board an aircraft, forcing forced it to make an emergency landing.

The American Airlines passenger’s electronic cigarette ‘malfunctioned’ just before Christmas and started a small fire aboard the aircraft, airline officials said.

This forced the flight from Dallas to Indianapolis to make an emergency landing at Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas.

American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said none of the 137 passengers or five crew members were injured and the crew quickly extinguished the fire.

Another plane was sent to Little Rock and all the passengers arrived in Indianapolis later the same day.

Exactly how the e-cigarette caught fire and where it was stored will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

* People take e-cigarettes and their lithium-ion batteries on board aircraft. A pioneering invention called an AvSax ( can minimise the fire danger on board aircraft in seconds with its unique use of water.

Simply pour at least two litres of water into an AvSax and then drop the burning device into the bag. The water activates a polymer gel inside the bag’s lining causing it to expand around the device. Should the device keep on burning then the AvSax is tough enough to absorb the force.