A woman flying to Melbourne from Beijing in February fell asleep while wearing noise-canceling headphones, only to awake to the sounds of a nearby explosion. The battery in her headphones had burst into flame, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation into the incident released Tuesday.
Photos depicted the unidentified woman with soot on her face, her cheek and neck singed.
“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she said, according to a statement posted to the ATSB website Tuesday. “I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the incident occurred Feb. 19. A representative for ATSB declined to tell the Australian newspaper what brand of battery caused the explosion.
The woman quickly responded to the malfunctioning device. “I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor,” she said. “They were sparking and had small amounts of fire.”
She continued: “As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them. They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane.”
The melted headphone cover and battery had to be scraped off the aircraft floor, according to the ATSB. The scent of torched hair and electronics lingered on the plane, disrupting the flight.
“People were coughing and choking the entire way home,” the woman said.
This was not the only incident to involve potentially dangerous batteries and airplanes. Hoverboards and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have been subject to recent airline bans over concerns about exploding batteries.
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