Headphones Catch Fire on Plane, Woman Suffers Burn Injuries

A woman ended up with serious burn injuries on her face when her battery-operated earphones caught fire when she was flying from Melbourne to Beijing.

The woman fell asleep listening to music when she felt a burning sensation on the left side of her face. She quickly took the headphones off and threw them to the aeroplane's floor.

The woman had fallen asleep with the headphones on. (Photo Courtesy: Australian Transport Safety Bureau)

“The headphones were sparking and were on fire,” the woman told Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Flight attendants rushed to pour water on the headphones but they had melted on the floor of the aircraft by then. The fumes were so intense that the people continued to choke on the smell of burnt plastic the entire way to Beijing.

The ATSB later found that the batteries in the headset had caught fire.

The batteries in the headset had caught fire. (Photo Courtesy: Australian Transport Safety Bureau)
The woman also suffered burns on her hands. (Photo Courtesy: Australian Transport Safety Bureau)

The ATSB said it assessed that the lithium batteries in the device likely caught fire.

The ATSB issued a warning saying that the batteries should be kept in stowage unless in use, and must be in carry-on baggage, not checked baggage.

Last year, the US banned Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 on board planes after several incidents of the device catching fire were reported. The issue had led to Samsung discontinuing the model for some time.