Mobile phone battery sparkes fire on Qantas flight

A mobile phone battery sparked a fire on a Qantas flight, prompting an investigation.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the Sydney to Los Angeles flight that left on June 21.

The incident occurred when a passenger’s mobile phone slipped between the seats and crushed the reclining mechanism, over the Pacific Ocean near Kiribati Island (about N0 W162) six-and-a-half hours into 13-hour flight QF-11 performed by a Qantas Boeing 747-400, registration VH-OJS.

The battery then burst into flames, causing crew member to extinguish the blaze and the flight continued onto LA after it was assessed as low risk to the safety.

The ATSB confirmed the incident, and said it would seek information from Qantas as part of its investigation, reports.

Qantas and other Australian airlines banned the carriage of lithium-ion batteries in cargo holds last year after they were found to pose an unacceptable risk of fire.

However, there is no restriction on batteries contained in devices and these are allowed to be carried by passengers.

According to dailymail, a Qantas spokesperson said the incident was a good reminder for passengers to be aware of where their phone was.

‘We find this tends to be more of an issue on longer flights and on our Business Class skybeds, where people might have their phone next to them as they relax and it slips down the side of the chair,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We’re asking people to keep track of their phone in their seat, and if they do lose it down the side, to let a crew member know and to not move their seat.

‘When the seat moves, that’s when the phone may get crushed.’