A JetBlue passenger’s carry-on burst into flames just as the plane was about to take off — which he called “one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Jimmy Levy was in his seat on the aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Monday when he woke up to the feeling of intense heat and immediately noticed that his backpack was set on fire.
“I was jolted awake by a sudden and terrifying wave of heat which was seemingly shooting towards my face,” Levy, 25, told Caters News. “I immediately opened my eyes and noticed my backpack, which was initially tucked underneath my seat, now in a floating ball of fire.”
Before the flight attendants could assist, the musical artist started to desperately stomp on his bag in an attempt to put out the fire and stop it from spreading any further.
“I thought someone tried to attack me because I’m a known political figure and musician,” Levy, who was a contestant on season 18 of “American Idol,” said. “But after investigation, it appeared to be an overheated portable battery/charger in my backpack.” “With the help of the flight staff and water, the fire was contained. However, due to the gravity of the situation, everyone was required to evacuate the plane for a thorough investigation,” Levy said.
After the fire was out and they investigated, it was discovered that the fire was caused by an overheated portable battery and charger.
In a statement to Caters, JetBlue confirmed that the flight “was evacuated while at the gate before takeoff due to a customer’s malfunctioning electronic device or battery.”
“Our crew immediately responded and addressed the situation, and there were no requests for medical assistance. Safety is our number one priority, and we are investigating the incident,” the statement continued.
It’s unclear what kind of portable phone charger ignited the fire, but a similar case occurred earlier this year. In July, VRURC portable chargers were recalled after one set on fire on a commercial flight, according to ABC 7.
The fire caused four flight attendants to be transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. (From the NY POST)