Video by Mamamia

Woman left charred and blistered after her headphones exploded mid-flight.

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Travel safety authorities have issued a warning about battery-operated headphones after a woman’s set exploded mid-flight.

According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the unidentified woman fell asleep while listening to music during a recent flight from Beijing to Melbourne, and was jolted awake by a loud explosion roughly two hours into the journey.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she said, according to the ATSB.

headphones explode during flight
Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

“I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck.

“I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire."

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Quick-thinking airline staff poured a bucket of water over the headphones, and placed them in a bucket at rear of the plane.

But with the battery and its cover melted to the floor of the aircraft, passengers were forced to endure fumes from burnt plastic, electrical components and singed hair.

headphones explode during flight
Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

“People were coughing and choking the entire way home,” she said.

ATSB's initial assessment has concluded that the headphone's batteries caused the explosion.

The specific brand has not been identified, nor has that of the headphones.

headphones explode during flight
Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The body offers the following advice to travellers carrying battery-operated devices:

  • batteries should be kept in an approved stowage, unless in use
  • spare batteries must be in your carry-on baggage NOT checked baggage
  • if a passenger’s smart phone or other device has fallen into the seat gap, locate their device before moving powered seats
  • if a passenger cannot locate their device, they should refrain from moving their seat and immediately contact a cabin crew member.

For more information about travelling with batteries, see the ATSB website here.

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