Headphones explode burning woman's face mid-flight

Headphones Explode, Melt Into Aircraft Floor After Burning Woman’s Face

A woman fell asleep while listening to music on a flight, only to wake up to the sound of an explosion and burning pain in her face. It was then she realized that her battery-operated headphones had exploded.

The flight was on its way to Melbourne, Australia, after departing from Beijing. It was about two hours into the flight when the headphones exploded, and as you can see in the picture below from a Facebook post, she was burned about her face, neck, and hair. The unnamed woman described the horror of the ordeal.

According to CNN, the headphones were sparking and smoking when she woke up, and she whipped them off her head and onto the floor of the plane. The skin on her face and hands began to blister from the intense heat coming from the burning headphones. The picture of the woman’s blistered hand can be seen below in a Facebook post from Yahoo New Zealand.

When the headphones landed on the floor of the aircraft, the area melted and part of the headphones fused with the floor. The unidentified woman told authorities it was the explosion that woke her up. She described how she heard the battery-powered headphones explode and said, “As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face.” The headphones then fell around her neck before she was able to get them off of her altogether. This is when the burning headphones, which still had small flames shooting out, landed on the aircraft’s floor. Experts believe it was likely the batteries powering the headphones that caused the explosion.

The woman said that after the explosion her headphones actually caught on fire. Once she ripped them off her head and they landed on the floor she cited “small flames” and “sparks” coming from the headphones. She positioned herself to stamp out the fire, but before she could do that the flight attendants were already in front of her with a bucket of water, which they poured over the burning headphones.

The heat from the burning headphones was so intense that when the attendants went to remove the headphones from the floor after pouring the water over them, the battery and the cover were melted into the floor. The flight attendants were able to remove part of the headphones, which they stored in the bucket of water in the back of the plane, but the parts that melted into the floor couldn’t be dislodged.

The woman said that the aircraft cabin “reeked of melted plastic and burning hair.” It was so strong that “people were coughing and choking the entire way home” to Melbourne, said the woman. Due to this incident, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued a warning to other plane passengers in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Fox News, “The ATSB has assessed that it is the batteries, as the power source, that caught on fire and are therefore the issue… All batteries contain stored energy and are therefore potentially risky.”

The ATSB did not offer the name of the company that made the batteries, as their investigation is still ongoing.

According to CNN, this exploding headphone incident occurred on February 19, but the investigation was recently revealed. It was just the day before this incident when a battery pack caught fire in one of the overhead compartments on an Airbus A320 departing from China. This incident caused an emergency landing in Japan.

Peter Gibson, who is the communications manager for Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said that often the cause of fires on a plane are lithium batteries. He recommends that if passengers are taking batteries on a flight that they store them in a plastic bag inside their carry-on luggage.

If passengers were to put batteries in their luggage, which is stored below in the luggage department of the aircraft and a battery catches fire, the problem could be huge before it is discovered. He said that by the time a fire is detected and the alarm goes off in the luggage department, “it’s a big problem.” If it happens while in the carry-on luggage, the flight attendants can react and put the fire out immediately.

[Featured Image by JetBlue Airways Corporation/AP Images]

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