Mobile phone caught fire on Indigo flight to Delhi

In a sudden incident on an Air Indigo flight last Thursday from Dibrugarh to New Delhi, a passenger’s phone on the flight reportedly started smoking and causing a spark, which required the crew to put out the potential fire.

Emergency on the plane

The accident occurred on IndiGo Flight 6E-2037, scheduled to fly from Dibrugarh, Assam, at 09:55 am and land in Delhi at 13:10 local time (operated by A320neo, VT-IJV). During the flight, a crew member reportedly noticed something smoking and emitting sparks, which led to fears of a fire on board.

The crew moved quickly to contain the situation, using a fire extinguisher on board to neutralize the smoke. No one was injured during the accident and the plane was not damaged either. According to a statement issued by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, the accident was reportedly caused by an “abnormally high temperature of the battery.”

Indigo Jet Getty Images

Cell phones and flights can sometimes become a dangerous combination, usually due to the lithium-ion batteries inside. Photo: Getty Images

While still rare, cabin crews are well trained to handle any type of fire, especially those caused by passenger electronic devices such as phones or power banks. This means that there is little threat to aviation safety unless a fire is detected for an extended period of time.

Special Procedures

News of mobile phones catching fire became prominent in 2016 after the infamous accidents with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on board. In response, airlines began requiring lithium-ion batteries to be carried in hand luggage to prevent fires in the charging strip. This is why airlines always double check while dropping bags that there are no power banks in checked bags.

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Some carriers have even gone a step further for safety. Airlines in the United States and abroad, such as Alaska, Southwest, and others, have begun to include “fire bags” on all aircraft so that smoking devices can be dropped without the use of fire extinguishers. They come in handy too, with Southwest using one on last year’s trip after a fight.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8

All US airlines are equipped with fire bags for such incidents. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight.

Fire bags usually include a pair of gloves with the bag itself, allowing crews to safely handle the phone when removed. It’s unclear if IndiGo also stores shooter bags on its planes. Hopefully it won’t be used much either way.

IndiGo is busy

IndiGo is a low-cost airline that recently won the title of the sixth largest airline in the world by passenger transport. With domestic flights now on the rise, the carrier is looking to secure its market share amid competition coming from the likes of Akasa Air and privatized Air India.

The airline’s current focus will be on boosting international flights as India reopens scheduled international flights after a two-year gap. For now, keep an eye out for the latest IndiGo tracks in the future.

What do you think of the current IndiGo operations? Let us know in the comments.

Source: India Today


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