Lithium battery fire scare on passenger plane

An overheating power bank sparked a fire alert on a passenger jet.

The Tway Airlines Boeing 737 was flying from Seoul in South Korea to Taipei in Taiwan and was making its descent when smoke was spotted spiralling from a passenger's power bank.

Cabin crew used a fire extinguisher and the passenger's bag and device were secured. The aircraft continued for a safe landing in Taipei.

Luckily the power bank didn’t catch fire but the plane was delayed by almost two hours before making its return flight.

Power banks – portable battery charges - are powered by lithium ion batteries which are used in all electronic devices taken on board planes ranging from mobile phones to laptops.

If lithium batteries overheat there is a danger they could go into 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. This can cause a lithium battery fire to flare repeatedly and incidents of thermal runaway are on the rise.

AvSax are the world’s best-selling aircraft fire containment bags by far and are now on more than 15,373 aircraft operated by 75 airline companies across the world and have been used 31 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

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