On Wednesday afternoon, ten passengers aboard a Spirit Airlines flight were taken to the hospital following a battery fire that occurred onboard the plane.
The aircraft made an emergency landing at Jacksonville International Airport within an hour of takeoff, after the crew notified authorities of a fire in one of the overhead bins.
Emergency responders boarded the plane and discovered that the source of the fire was a lithium-ion battery that had ignited among the passengers’ personal belongings. Although the flight crew was able to put out the flames, smoke persisted in the cabin, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue Capt. Eric Prosswimmer.
“The battery, I don’t know where it came from, but it had started a fire. The crew was very intelligent; they put it in a galley in a bucket of water,” Prosswimmer said.
The flight was scheduled to depart from Dallas for Orlando at 2 p.m. local time.
Following the battery fire incident, a number of passengers and crew members complained of feeling unwell and were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Several hours later, a Lufthansa flight encountered severe turbulence, resulting in an emergency landing in Washington, D.C. Seven passengers were taken to the hospital.
A retired firefighter who happened to be on the flight assisted the crew in extinguishing the fire.
“There was a retired fireman that jumped up and flight crew came in and they tried putting water on it and another guy went and got a bucket because I think the fireman reached in and grabbed it and they got it put out, but it took about 20 minutes,” passenger Kerri Arakawa told First Coast News.
“The pilot got us out of the air really fast. It was exciting and had a really smooth landing of all the things, but it was quite frightening for a little while until we knew we were on the ground and safe.” he added.
An investigation is being conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration.