A woman's headphones exploded in her face during a Beijing-Melbourne flight

  • A woman's headphones exploded in her face during a Beijing-Melbourne flight

A woman's headphones exploded in her face during a Beijing-Melbourne flight

A woman has suffered burns after her battery-powered headphones exploded on an global flight from China to Australia.

Two hours into the flight, the passenger, who had fallen asleep, heard a loud explosion and felt a burning sensation on her face.

She woke up at the sound of the explosion, sustaining blisters as she tore the headphones off her head.

In quotes supplied by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the woman described how she was sleeping with the device on when she awoke to an explosion.

Once she realized what was going on the headphones were thrown to the floor where they continued to spark and flames were visible.

Flight attendants poured water on the headphones and placed them in a bucket at the back of the plane. The plane was left with the smell of melted plastic and burnt hair, said the woman, and the melted battery was left stuck to the floor of the aircraft. The bureau did not say which brand of headphones or which airline was involved in the incident.

In the statement, the ATSB said it "assessed that the batteries in the device likely caught on fire".

Fires caused by such batteries downed Boeing 747s in Dubai and South Korea in 2010 and 2011. This does raise the concern that despite the quality of the product, there is always a safety concern around it. Galaxy Note 7 is obviously not the only smartphone which ever caught fire, last year.

The BBC noted that lithium batteries have caused problems on flights in the past. It said batteries should be kept in storage unless in use and must be in carry-on baggage, not checked baggage.

A plane about to take off from Sydney in 2016 had to be stopped when smoke started coming out of a piece of luggage.

An electronic device also began emitting smoke when it was crushed under a moving seat in the U.S., the ATSB said.