Four flight attendants on a United Airlines flight were taken to the hospital Tuesday after the flight crew reported a “laptop on fire in the cabin,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
United Airlines Flight 2664 returned safely to San Diego International Airport around 7:30 a.m. local time after a “customer’s battery pack ignited,” according to United Airlines spokesperson Charles Hobart. The flight was headed to Newark Liberty International Airport.
“Our crew acted quickly to contain the device and medical personnel met the aircraft upon arrival at the gate,” Hobart said.
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San Diego Fire Department evaluated all passengers and crew, according to its Twitter. Four were taken to the hospital and two others declined transportation. According to Hobart, those taken to the hospital were flight attendants.
“We thank our crew for their quick actions in prioritizing the safety of everyone on board the aircraft and we are making arrangements to get our customers to their destinations,” Hobart said.
The FAA said it will investigate the incident.
Is it safe to travel with laptops?
Laptops are allowed on flights, although they are not supposed to be used during takeoff and landing, and should be in your carry-on baggage only.
In 2017, the FAA found that checking in laptops and similar electronics using lithium batteries could overheat in the checked baggage compartment and potentially start fires. When these devices are inside the cabin, the flight crew could “expeditiously” take appropriate action.
In December, a Lufthansa flight going to Germany from California had to make an “unscheduled landing” in Chicago when a person’s laptop overheated and started a “small fire” in the cabin. That same month, a JetBlue flight had to be evacuated via emergency slides due to a “smoking laptop.”
Story Credit: usatoday.com