Video: Bag Catches Fire On China Southern Flight

Video footage has emerged of a power bank in a passenger’s bag catching fire on a China Southern flight today from Guangzhou to Shanghai (CZ3539). Passengers noticed some smoke coming from the overhead bin, and then a crew member and a passenger worked to extinguish the fire using bottled water and juice (which seems like a strange method to use, though it works surprisingly well).

There was no further damage to the aircraft and no one was injured, though the flight was delayed by a few hours, as the airline got a replacement aircraft. While fires unfortunately aren’t (that) uncommon, what makes this interesting is that there’s a video of the incident, which you don’t often see. Here it is:

https://twitter.com/ChinaAvReview/status/967655625009213442

Thank goodness the fire was detected so quickly, and on the ground.

You can find mode on the story on Channel News Asia.

(Tip of the hat to @pir8z40)

Comments

  1. “and then a crew member and a passenger worked to extinguish the fire using bottled water and juice (which seems like a strange method to use, though it works surprisingly well)”

    Who would have thought that fires could be extinguished by water…Indeed I am so SURPRISED by this lol

  2. It would be sensible for people to carry these things in a ‘safe charging’ bag. They are made from fire retardant material, weigh very little, cost about $3. I use them for charging…at home and in hotels/airports…and for carrying the devices.
    Many people abuse these things, drop them , don’t recharge until they are fully drained, casually throw them in a bag banging up against metallic objects.
    The chemistry is not yet perfect and they are vulnerable to misuse.
    A safe bag minimises the risk.

  3. Former flight attendant for AA here. What are they thinking throwing water & OJ on this fire? This is why I don’t have a lot of confidence in some Asian carriers. In training, it was drilled into our brain where the fire extinguishers are located, PBEs, etc. And this was ON THE GROUND! Why would the crew not go straight for fire equipment? And the way they throw it in there. FFS, I know US carriers are know for having super bitchy crews, but give me a US trained crew member any day in an emergency over these clowns. Other incidents involving such crew: Air Asia, Asiana,…

  4. Jeffrey,

    It may be that water and juice were immediately to hand whilst they were locating the fire extinguisher, by which point the water and juice had put out the fire anyway.

  5. You’re probably right, Sandra. I wonder if water & OJ would have worked if it had been a lithium ion battery? I think water can actually worsen fires caused by those batteries, right?

  6. Yes, it would have been preferable for a foam extinguisher. Thankfully it wasnt a bottle of vodka they poured on it haha

  7. @Jeffrey

    Many of the cheaper power banks use lithium ion rather than lithium polymer, even newer ones. And the worst of them are made in China ( so too are some of the best).
    Get on a plane with 200 passengers…the likelihood is there will be about 600 or more batteries in the cabin.
    How safe is that? Who knows, but many airlines require their pilots to use iPads and other devices…sitting right there on the flight controls… so maybe not worth losing sleep over it.

  8. @ Jeffrey, Asian crew members are far more trained / professional / Pleasant /Attractive / Younger than the jokes Airlines you used to work for. I haven’t seen any US airline topping any satisfaction ranking over the past 20 years.

  9. I’m a flight attendant. For a PED fire (I’m guessing this is) – we are instructed to use water and any non flammable liquid and continue pouring it on the fire. Fire extinguishers will not stop a PED fire. It only extinguishes the flame.

  10. @ Jeffrey, way to be completely racist and lump all “Asian” carriers and flight attendants together. And since you specifically identify Asiana, maybe you missed the part where the flight attendants were carrying people on their backs out of the plane in 2013? And that’s while actually being kind, personable, and not overweight, a combination that seems to elude the vast majority of American flight attendants.

  11. Electrical fires can be worsened by water (as water conducts electricity, making the spread of fire likely and possibly giving you a shock too). But the issue with PED fires is that battery that started it all is not (usually) connected to anything else and does not have the power to shock anybody. By then baggage itself caught fire, and that was primary fuel. Water works well for solid materials like that, and the battery was likely burned into ashes by then. I would still lean to using an extinguisher for any mixed-material fires… you never know what actually started the fire inside that bad.

  12. Peeing on it is the best. Electrolytes in the pee do a better job of cutting off the supply of oxygen.

    Why do you think trump acts retarded sometimes? Put 2 and 2 together.

  13. @Jeffrey. Talk about shooting your own foot! After reading your ‘super bitchy’ rant I now totally believe what you say about US carriers having “super bitchy crews”. LOL

  14. It’s recommended using water to extinguish a PED fire. I suppose the crew members followed the right procedure as per training

  15. What Jeffrey said confirmed and reaffirmed the attributes about US flight crews, they are indeed “super bitchy crews.” That’s why unless I have no choice, I HATE flying US carriers especially for international. Cold, apathetic, indifferent flight crews. Also, for Jeffrey’s information, Singapore Airlines have one of the longest training for any carriers, 15 weeks if I’m not mistaken. @Jeffrey, how long was your training? Probably not anywhere as long. Some of the top notch Asian carriers are equal if not better for safety training than US carriers. Not only can they handle safety better but also at the same time provide EXCELLENT customer service, something that I rarely see with US carriers.

  16. @Jefferey Just checked Weibo, many Chinese pilots and flight attendants pointed out that using water, instead of fire extinguisher, is the most effective way to extinguish fire caused by lithium battery.

  17. Another compelling reason for not insisting power banks be in checked-in (hold) baggage. Imagine an undetected fire like that in the unattended baggage hold!

  18. @ Wang Tchung: I didn’t say anything about the pleasantness, attractiveness, or youth of Asian carrier cabin crews. But I did not that there have been shortcomings in the safety training of *some* Asian carrier cabin crews (pointing mainly at Air Asia and Asiana). Other established carriers, like Singapore and Cathay, have excellent cabin crew training.

    @ CJ: I didn’t “lump all” Asian carriers into one group. I said *some* Asian carriers. You are correct, there are differences among them.

  19. haha! what you get for buying cheapo powerbanks…. there are a plenty like 10 bucks for 2 in local market.

  20. 1. Jeffery is a typical example of the ignorant American flight attendants and I can’t agree more to blame the union for this.

    2. Li-ion battery fire is considered as class B fire, which is liquid on fire, best way to put out is water, and recommended by NFPA.

    1+2 proved the current ignorant and low quality over paid flight attendant working group in the US is ruining the industry so badly

  21. You may be interested to hear that Bangkok Airways does not allow power packs in hand luggage . They must go in checked bags. They scanned my check in bag and called me and asked me to open the bag . They wanted to look at my power pack . They told me because it was a cheap ” promotional giveaway” with a company logo ( from China ) and no information on it about capability and power, it could not be carried on the aircraft , so it was confiscated . This was about 4 years back. Seems like a wise and ”safe” policy to me .

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