Passenger suffers burns after headphones catch fire during flight

  • A female passenger suffered burns on her face after headphones caught fire while onboard an aircraft
  • She was listening to music for two hours when she was jolted in her sleep by a loud explosion
  • Thankfully, the crew promptly responded to the incident before it got worse
  • Authorities said the fire may have been caused by the batteries
Image from ATSB/

A female passenger traveling from Beijing to Melbourne woke up to a loud explosion in her ears; immediately followed by a burning sensation on her face.

She was using a battery-operated headphones and was listening to music for two hours before the incident happened.

The woman, who has not been identified, narrated she quickly grabbed her face but the headset went around her neck in the process.

“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,” quoted her as saying.

The flight crew quickly noticed the commotion and promptly responded.

“As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them. They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane,” she said.

The battery and the cover melted onto the floor and the rest of the passengers have to endure the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and burnt hair for the remainder of the flight.

The strange incident has prompted the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to issue a warning against using battery-operated devices on any flight.

It also released photos of the victim but did not give her name. The pictures showed the woman with burns on her face and blisters in her hands. Her hair and eyebrows were also singed from the flame.

Australian authorities vowed to investigate the incident but declined to reveal the brand of the headphones. They said the explosion was most likely caused by the batteries, and not the headphones themselves.