A faulty battery is thought to have caused a woman's headphones to catch fire on a plane.

It is the latest in a spate of fires on board aircraft caused by lithium-ion batteries and previous incidents have included ipads and mobile phones.

Now, according to the BBC, Australian authorities have warned about the dangers of using battery-powered devices on flights.

The woman was dozing on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne when she was woken by the sound of an explosion while she listened to music.

She tore the headphones off to find them sparking, catching fire and beginning to melt.

The passenger was left with a blackened face and blisters on her hands.

The woman, who has not been named, told the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB): "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."

Members of the flight crew rushed to help and eventually put out the fire by pouring a bucket of water on the headphones.

By that time, the battery and the plastic cover had melted and stuck to the floor.

ATSB said in its report: "For the remainder of the flight passengers endured the smell of melted plastic, burned electronics and burned hair."

The report did not mention the brand of headphones, but said it believed that a fault with lithium-ion batteries was the likely cause.

The ATSB has published a set of guidelines for travelling safely with batteries and power packs, warning that "as the range of products using batteries grows, the potential for in-flight issues increases."

The BBC report adds there have been a number of problems with lithium batteries on flights in recent years.

A plane about to take off from Sydney last year had to be stopped when smoke was coming from a piece of hand luggage. It was then found that lithium batteries had caught fire in the luggage.

An electronic device also began emitting smoke when it was crushed under a moving seat in the US, the ATSB said.

Last year, malfunctioning batteries in Samsung's Note 7 caused many of the smartphones to overheat, catch fire and melt.

Several such incidents also happened on planes leading to international aviation authorities banning the device from planes. The Note 7 was soon recalled by Samsung and production has been scrapped.

A pioneering invention called an AvSax (www.avsax.com) can minimise the fire danger caused by electronic items such as laptops 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.

Several airlines are now fully equipped with them.