JetBlue passengers evacuated after man’s portable charger explodes

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Man’s backpack explosion prompts evacuation of passengers from flight JetBlue from John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) from New York on October 30, 2023.

The accident occurred on flight B6 1401 which was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The plane was still on the ground waiting for the lift-off. Passenger Jimmy Levy, owner of the backpack, recounted his terrifying ordeal on his account Instagram, explaining that his bag was placed under his seat. The bag contained a portable charger, suspected of being at the origin of the explosion. Before takeoff, Levy said he fell asleep when he suddenly heard a loud blast and felt a wave of heat rise to his face. When he opened his eyes, he saw that his backpack had become a “explosive, floating fireball.” He immediately began stomping on the bag to stop the fire from spreading. Soon the other passengers and crew jumped into action and also helped contain the fire, dousing the bag with water from bottles.

Teamwork made it possible to contain the fire, but so that the situation could be the subject of a thorough investigation, all passengers had to evacuate the plane. No one was injured in the accident.

Speaking to South Florida news outlet WSVN, Levy said he “rightfully thanked God” because due to flight delaythe fiery crash occurred while the plane was still on the ground. A JetBlue spokesperson confirmed the flight was evacuated while at the gate before takeoff “due to a customer’s defective electronic device or battery.”

The regulations of the FAA stipulate that spare lithium-ion batteries (which include portable chargers) must be carried in carry-on baggage only, while EU regulations TSA require portable chargers to be placed in hand luggage or carried on one’s person. They are not permitted in checked baggage.

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