Crushed Phone Catches Fire Under Qantas A380 Business-Class Seat

Sep 26, 2018

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Here’s a reminder to always listen to the safety briefing before your flight takes off. On Wednesday morning, Qantas Flight 94 took off from Los Angeles (LAX), bound for Melbourne (MEL) on board an A380. During the flight, a passenger seated in the business-class cabin dropped their phone underneath their seat and reclined the seat in order to retrieve it, resulting in a crushed phone — and fire.

Passengers on the flight reportedly told the Herald Sun that before the incident was tended to, a burned rubber scent could be smelled throughout the business-class cabin. After becoming aware of the incident, crew reportedly ran through the cabin with fire extinguishers.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” the passenger said. “The [flight attendant] was on the internal phone when two male hostesses grabbed fire extinguishers and ran up the stairs to business.”

A crushed personal electronic device from 2016. Photo courtesy of ATSB.

The incident serves as a good reminder to not only pay attention to the safety briefings but to also be able to put that information into action, if needed. If you’re sitting in a business-class seat and your device falls under the seat, don’t recline — if it’s crushed, there’s the potential of fire.

“Our crew are trained to handle these situations and the crew on board followed all the correct procedures,” Qantas said to The Sun. “This incident shows why we ask passengers to seek help from our cabin crew in retrieving their mobile phones.”

Qantas’ business-class seats on its A380 are confined to the forward of the upper deck. The 64 seats, which are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration are lie-flat.

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