Power Bank fire causes emergency landing of Virgin Atlantic flight

A Virgin Atlantic flight from New York to London made an emergency landing in Boston after a power bank phone charger caught fire in mid-air. Virgin Atlantic flight VS138 from John F. Kennedy Airport to Heathrow Airport reported a fire on board at 8:44 p.m., around 75 minutes after taking off, Massachusetts State Police said in a statement.

The pilot diverted the Airbus A330 to Boston’s Logan Airport, where the plane made an emergency landing. 217 passengers were safely evacuated just after 9:00 p.m, police said.
“State Police Troop F Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (MSP EOD) inspected the seat; wires were protruding from the area of the fire,” they said. The power bank was found “between the cushions of the seat.”

“Preliminary investigation suggests it is a battery pack consistent in appearance with an external phone charger.” Police said one passenger was given medical attention for a “smoke-related complaint.”

Virgin Atlantic Airways said: “The VS138 from JFK to London Heathrow (4 July 2019) diverted to Boston due to reports of smoke in the cabin.” “Our crew responded immediately and the plane landed safely in Boston. “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we are currently investigating to fully understand the circumstances.”