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There’s been another lithium-ion battery explosion and fire, this time in the overhead bin of a China Southern Airlines plane. According to Fox News, passengers were boarding the flight when smoke started pouring into the cabin. Soon, flames were spotted in a passenger’s bag in the overhead bin. Fortunately, the plane hadn’t taken off yet. Passengers had to disembark, however.

This is yet another incident in a steady stream of lithium-ion battery malfunctions. According to the Consumerist, at least 17 lithium-ion batteries exploded on planes last year (2017).

Passengers and Crew Attempt to Put Out the Blaze

Passengers were boarding the plane from Guangzhou to Shanghai when the fire occurred. Together with the cabin crew, they tried to put out the flames with bottles of water and juice. Emergency crews soon arrived to confirm that the fire was definitely out. The passenger who owned the phone was escorted off the plane by police to help in determining what went wrong.

Fox News reports that according to the evidence, the power bank (or portable charger), which was most likely powered by a lithium-ion battery, was not in use at the time of the fire. At the time of this writing, the make and model of the charger had not yet been released.

Though there was no damage to the plane, and no one suffered any injuries, a replacement plane was brought in to take the passengers to their destination. They suffered a three-hour delay.

So far, lithium-ion batteries are still allowed on planes as long as they are transported in carry-on luggage. They are not allowed in checked luggage.

Passengers and Crew Attempt to Put Out the Blaze

According to a 2017 report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as of May 22, 2017, there had been 160 air/airport incidents involving lithium batteries carried as cargo or baggage that had been recorded since March 20, 1991. They noted that this number reflected only the incidents that the FAA was aware of, and should not be considered a complete listing.

In June 2017, the Consumerist reported that in the first four months of 2017, the FAA had received reports of 17 incidents where lithium-ion batteries caught fire, overheated, or smoked in airplanes. Of these, at least four occurred in the baggage or cargo hold, despite the fact that most U.S. airlines have banned lithium-ion batteries in cargo on passenger flights. The U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization, concerned about these batteries on international flights, also banned them from cargo holds in April 2016.

The FAA warned airlines in February 2016 to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage the risks associated with transporting lithium-ion batteries as cargo, noting that fire testing “has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion.”

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