A battery on an Air France flight caught fire mid-air which could have led to a major disaster had the fire caught hold. The incident happened on an flight heading for Ghana. The crew’s quick reaction has been hailed for stopping a serious disaster.
In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of incidents in which lithium batteries, such as those used in mobile phones or e-cigarettes, have caught fire.
Another battery fired happened on an Air France plane from Paris to Accra on August 21, according to Le Figaro.
Onboard videos from the flight last week showed distressing scenes.
One passenger can hear shouting: “I see smoke, it’s about to explode!”
A woman aboard the flight told Le Figaro: “Glancing out of the window, I realized we were too high up at 32,000 feet to escape.”
However, it turned out that the source of concern was her neighbour’s phone battery.
The passenger Marie-Cécile Zinsou, said her fellow passenger immediately raised the alarm.
She explained: “The on-board staff reacted with disconcerting speed.
“In a short time that seemed to last longer, they managed to bring the incipient fire under control.”
“Within minutes the two or three fire extinguishers were emptied onto the smoking battery on the floor and the stewardesses were going back and forth with champagne buckets full of water.”
The French airline said in a statement that “the safety of the flight was never in question”.
The flight continued on to Ghana without further incident.
Air France confirmed that air stewards had “intervened in the cabin due to smoke emanating from the battery of a passenger’s electronic device”.
A incident aboard an EasyJet flight earlier this year, saw the plane forced to change course and return to Geneva.
Passengers acted quickly to put out a fire that had started in a hand luggage compartment, resulting in multiple injuries.