Fire on American Airlines plane caused by e-cigarette: Reports

Fire on American Airlines plane caused by e-cigarette: Reports

American Airlines aircraft
File photo of American Airlines aircraft parked at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC. (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

CHICAGO: A fire on board an American Airlines flight was caused by an overheated e-cigarette shortly after the plane landed in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Friday (Jan 4) night, US media reported.

USA TODAY cited airline spokesman Ross Feinstein as saying on Monday that the small fire was put out by flight attendants who are trained to fight high-energy battery fires.

American Airlines also released a statement to Newsweek, which said that none of the 138 passengers and six crew members on board was injured in the incident.

"Shortly after landing in Chicago on Flight 168 from Las Vegas, a passenger’s e-cigarette experienced what is called a thermal runaway event, which resulted in a small fire on board,” it said.

“Our flight attendants quickly extinguished the fire and the plane taxied to the gate.”

The statement added: "We are thankful for our flight attendants who quickly put their training to use to keep our passengers safe." 

The US Transportation Security Administration allows e-cigarettes and other vaping devices on board flights, but prohibits them in checked luggage.

In July last year, an Air China flight had to make an emergency descent after oxygen levels plummeted in the cabin when the co-pilot turned off a ventilation system to conceal his e-cigarette smoke. 

Chinese authorities later cut the airline's 737 flights and revoked the flying licences of the cockpit crew involved in the incident. Air China was also fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,500).

Source: CNA/rw(cy)