Power bank explosion on Boracay-Shanghai flight forces emergency landing

By Linh Le   February 23, 2024 | 06:32 pm PT
A passenger’s power bank detonated on a Royal Air Philippines flight traveling from Boracay to Shanghai, necessitating an unscheduled landing at Hong Kong International Airport.
An aircraft from Royal Air Philippines. Photo from Royal Air Philippines Instagram

An aircraft from Royal Air Philippines. Photo from Royal Air Philippines' Instagram

The incident, as reported by the Hong Kong-based newspaper The Standard, occurred on Monday.

A passenger, identified by the surname Yang, recounted to The Star how she was abruptly awakened by a pungent odor, then noticed smoke spreading through the front of the cabin. She observed flight crew members dashing toward the smoke’s origin in an effort to resolve the issue, while the captain promptly informed the passengers of the decision to divert to Hong Kong for an emergency landing.

Other passengers captured footage of the ensuing chaos, with many moving toward the plane’s back to avoid the smoke.

Following the aircraft’s descent in Hong Kong, emergency responders, including firefighters and police, quickly boarded to conduct a comprehensive check of the passengers’ hand luggage. Although no injuries were reported, the cause of the power bank’s explosion remains undetermined.

The aircraft resumed its journey after completing the investigation, arriving in Shanghai close to midnight, three hours past its original schedule.

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