An AvSax lithium battery fire containment bag An AvSax lithium battery fire containment bag

Mobile phone starts to smoulder so is contained in battery fire containment bag

A dispute between two passengers on board a plane sparked a fire scare.

Trouble broke out on the Southwest Airlines plane flying from Texas to Florida in the US which led to one of the passengers’ mobile phones being damaged and smoke starting to spiral from it.

The crew put the smouldering phone into a lithium battery fire containment bag and the plane diverted to Pensacola International Airport in Florida due to the fracas between the passengers. It landed at 4pm on Wednesday, June 9 and the passengers involved in the argument left the plane.

The incident was reported on Channel 3 News in the US which printed this statement from Southwest Airlines: “A Southwest flight operating from Dallas Love Field safely diverted to Pensacola International Airport on Wednesday afternoon due to a dispute between two passengers traveling together that resulted in a broken cell phone which smouldered and was placed into a battery containment bag by our flight attendants.

“After the two passengers exited the aircraft in Pensacola the flight continued to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. We appreciate the patience, cooperation and support of the customers onboard today.”

Personal electronic devices (PEDs) ranging from mobile phones to laptops are powered by lithium-ion batteries which means there are hundreds of devices on any one flight.

Many airline companies now carry lithium battery fire mitigation bags on board to deal with fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. If they overheat or catch fire they go into what’s known as thermal runaway. This happens when one cell in a battery overheats it can produce enough heat – up to 900°C (1652°F) – to cause adjacent cells to overheat which can cause a lithium battery fire to flare repeatedly. 

The last place you want this happening is in the confined space of an aircraft cabin due to the risk of fire and toxic smoke which is why fire containment bags are so important.

AvSax are the world’s best-selling fire containment bag for PEDs on aircraft and are now on more than 15,373 aircraft operated by 80 airline companies. They have been used 33 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

AvSax won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the UK in 2018.

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