Exploding headphones leave flier with face full of flames


Apple doesn't say which batteries should be used with its devices.
Apple doesn't say which batteries should be used with its devices.
Photo: ATSB

First it was hoverboards. Then it was smartphones.

Now there’s a new exploding gadget you need to watch out for: headphones.

An Australian woman received a rude awakening on her flight from China last month when her noise-cancelling headphones exploded in her face after she dozed off. The battery in the headphones burst into flame mid-flight, according to a report on the incident by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

“As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face. I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck,” the woman told officials. “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.”

Luckily for everyone on board a flight attendant sprang into action. A bucket of water was quickly retrieved and poured on the headphones. The flight crew then put the headphones in a bucket in the back of the plane.

Officials haven’t disclosed what type of headphones the woman was using. Whoever makes them though, they pack a punch. Both the battery and cover were melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft. Fumes from the explosion filled the cabin the rest of the flight.

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


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