Batteries are not meant to be carried on flights unless they are inside an appliance, such as a mobile phone – but it happens, and one has just caught fire.
A Delta Air Lines flight from Norfolk to Atlanta had just taken off when a “cellphone battery not attached to a phone” ignited, according to a report in the Virginian-Pilot. The news outlet said the phone “caught fire” and was then smouldering, producing a plume of smoke, which attendants managed to disperse.
Delta officials confirmed the battery was a spare but did not say what sort of battery it was, or what phone it went with. Investigations continue.
The incident happened last Friday, a day after the US government recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones following reports of some of devices catching fire or exploding.
The incident happened about 15 minutes into Delta Flight 2557.
The plane had taken off from Norfolk, Virginia, to Atlanta, carrying 143 passengers and five crew, when flight attendants noticed the smoke in the rear section of the aircraft, Delta said.
A spokesman for the airline denied that there were any reports of flame. Smoke was the problem.
Written by Peter Needham