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Power Bank Explosion Causes Panic on AirAsia Flight


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This is the terrifying moment a power bank exploded on an AirAsia flight mid-air, sending passengers into panic. The plane was flying from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south of the country when flames and smoke were seen.

 

Shocked cabin crew rushed to the middle row of the Airbus A320 to extinguish the flames, as nervous customers watched on.

 

Those onboard rushed out of their seats and flocked to the other side of the aircraft, with some clutching their children. 

 

As fumes filled the cabin, passengers frantically moved their belongings away from the flames. Others rushed to go and get bottled water in an attempt to put out the fire.

 

Sayan Srimai, who recorded the video, said: 'The whole plane was in a state of chaos.

 

'We had been sitting for about 30 minutes when suddenly there was a fire burning and smoke rising in the middle of the plane, in row 15.

 

'Passengers were extremely shocked. The crew were excellent and it only took them two minutes to put out the fire.'

 

The eruption left one of the leather seats burnt and charred and the plane landed on time. Nobody was injured in the incident. 

 

Technicians boarded the vehicle to check the damage and found black burn marks on the seat.

 

They told passengers that a power bank had been stored in the seat pouch but it exploded during the flight.

 

By GINA KALSI

Picture: Those onboard rushed out of their seats and flocked to the other side of the aircraft, with some clutching their children

 

Full story: Daily Mail 2024-02-26

 

 

 

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Cell phone power bank fire on Thai Air Asia flight extinguished quickly

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A passenger’s cell phone power bank, in their carry-on luggage, caught fire during a Thai Air Asia flight this morning, but the fire was quickly put out by the crew.

 

Thai Air Asia said in a statement that the incident took place on flight FD3188, from Don Mueang airport to Nakhon Si Thammarat province at 7.20am this morning.

 

Smoke was seen emanating from the overhead luggage compartment, but the crew quickly used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. The flight, its passengers and crew all landed safely, the statement said.

 

Thai Air Asia thanked the passengers who alerted the crew and helped in extinguishing the fire.

 

The airline also warned passengers to check their reserve batteries or power banks, to make sure that they meet the required quality specifications, adding that no spare batteries or power banks can be loaded in their hold luggage and must be kept in their carry-on bags only.

 

Source: Thai PBS 2024-02-26

 

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Thai AirAsia Plane Lands Safely After Power Bank Explodes
by TNR Staff

 

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The cabin of Thai AirAsia flight from Don Mueang Airport to Nakhon Si Thammarat is filled with smoke after a power bank exploded. Photo: Matichon

 

ALL 186 passengers and crew of Thai AirAsia flight FD3188 heading from Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat at 7.20 a.m. this morning (Feb. 24) were unharmed and the plane landed safely at the destination after a power bank exploded, Matichon newspaper quoted TV Channel 3 as saying.

 

On this flight was Sub. Lt. Sayan Srimai, an assistant reporter of this TV channel and a reporter of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Press Association, and his wife. He said that there was chaos in the cabin after the device exploded around 30 minutes after takeoff.

 

Smoke rose in the middle of the cabin from row 15, which was directly in front of the reporter, shocking all the passengers. The flight crew were able to extinguish the fire in two minutes and the blast did not affect the rest of the journey with the plane landing safely at Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport.

 

The passenger who carried the power bank to the plane said he and his family, totaling seven to eight members, were going to Nakhon Si Thammarat for a three-day holiday.

 

Full story: THAI NEWSROOM 2024-02-26

 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

A passenger’s cell phone power bank, in their carry-on luggage, caught fire during a Thai Air Asia flight this morning, but the fire was quickly put out by the crew.

Dodgy electrics again.

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1 hour ago, Wuvu2 said:

Really???  Oxygen masks are for cabin depressurization situations so people don't pass out. Adding oxygen to a fire would probably lead to an explosion 😉

I just thought the smoke was bad for breathing. 

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1 hour ago, wadsy said:

I thought lithium/iron battery fires weren't able to be extinguished by water as they supplied their own oxygen? Must have been something other. 

Why do you think the fire extinguisher was water? I doubt that very much. Just because someone rushed to get bottles of water? 

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47 minutes ago, brianthainess said:

Why do you think the fire extinguisher was water? I doubt that very much. Just because someone rushed to get bottles of water? 

Maybe water which is available is used to wet the contents of the luggage to slow the burning. .. while airline staff get the fire extinguisher…

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AN Headline:- "Power Bank Explosion Causes Panic on AirAsia Flight"

 

I didn't know what a power bank was, and thought it was something to do with the in plane electrics. Never mind, Air Asia's explanation was a bit more informative:- 

 

 "Cell phone power bank fire on Thai Air Asia flight extinguished quickly"

 

Funny how the addition of 2 words takes the "shock/horror" out of the story! 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, brianthainess said:

Why do you think the fire extinguisher was water? I doubt that very much. Just because someone rushed to get bottles of water? 


Yes you are correct, no commercial aircraft carries water fire extinguishers.

 

https://www.h3raviation.com/blogs/blog/choosing-the-right-fire-extinguisher-for-your-aircraft#:~:text=The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration,aircraft it is 2B%3AC.

 

Many airlines are using fire containment bags, like below, for this type of incident, but this was on a budget airline.

IMG_2194.jpeg

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30 minutes ago, Cabradelmar said:

The rule is that your power bank should have a capacity of no more than 100Wh (Watt Hours) and a maximum voltage of 12V (Volts), although some airlines allow for up to 160Wh. But even those can ignite. The only reason that let those on is because if they do ignite/explode, the fire can be contained (vs. in the hold of the plane) assuming staff are properly trained. Probably just need to ban power banks completely. The technology has proven once again to be unsafe to fly. 


Yes agree with your comments, but the problem is not restricted to just power banks.
 

Other common devices with lithium ion batteries, are most personal electronics such as cameras, cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, watches, calculators, e-cigarettes.

 

The FAA reported that on average there was 1 incident per week, involving these devices, last year in the US.

 

Edited by Georgealbert
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And this is why they don't allow batteries in your checked bag.  Imagine if this happened in the luggage compartment!  Some airline rules are lifesavers.  "Turn off your cell phones" and "take off your shoes" are both notable exceptions.  

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1 hour ago, Spock said:

Only takes one incident for anything in Thailand to cause a knee jerk ban across the board. Like how alcohol was banned from Thai trains.

 

Exactly. The main thing I was looking for in the article is which Powerbank model/brand, but of course is nowhere to be seen. It should be a specific ban like they did for the Galaxy Note 7 years ago.

 

But yes, more likely it will cause a widespread ban on good powerbanks just because of ONE out of many millions that fly every year. 

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Wonder if the power bank was simply dodgy POS.  Or was it in use, charging a phone, in which case, 'user error' being in the seat pocket, and heat couldn't dissipate.   You can't fix stupid :coffee1:

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2 hours ago, Frankie baby said:

Looks like a ban on the way for battery power banks. The aviation top brass will be scrutinising this incident.  

That’s what I was thinking too .. my guess is that as in-seat power is becoming more the norm, that in the not too far future there may be an outright ban on these kinds of power banks be that in checked baggage (as it is now for many carriers) but also in cabin..

 

True, in-seat power tends to be much more common on larger aircraft (ie more long haul sectors) and less common on short haul fleet types.. but I do think that we might also see it becoming the standard across all fleet types.. and when/if it does become the norm, THEN i could see an outright ban on outside power banks being implemented. 

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11 minutes ago, sandyf said:


Yes and the occurrences are becoming more common.

 

FAA reported that between January 2006 and April 2022 there has been 357 incidents involving Lithium batteries, in the US alone.

 

Report shows that all types of devices are involved, as we have both stated above, so banning power banks only, is not the answer.

 

https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/2022-04/April 1 2022 Li-Batt. Thermal Events.pdf

Edited by Georgealbert
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