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The big bang that had airport passengers scrambling

The big bang that had airport passengers scrambling
© Amarosy | Dreamstime

Traveling by air today is not as easy as it used to be. It’s also a lot scarier since 9/11. Extra precautions are taken by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a result such as body scans and inspecting our carry-on items a little more closely.

However, no matter how cautious security screeners are, unexpected items can cause havoc on a flight.

One of those items that recently caused panic was an electronic device. We all carry them and they are definitely not a banned item. But sometimes even technology doesn’t always behave itself.

Battery explodes inside a carry-on bag

On November 10 at Florida’s Orlando International Airport, a loud explosion delayed flights and sent travelers running for cover. What sounded like a gunshot was actually a lithium-ion battery exploding inside a passenger’s bag.

The passenger hadn’t made it on the plane yet but was in the main terminal according to a statement from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Inside the passenger’s carry-on was a camera that caught fire and began to smoke inside the bag.

As soon as the traveler realized what was happening, he/she dropped the bag and tried to move other passengers away from it. Emergency workers arrived and moved the bag even farther away.

While there wasn’t a big need for panic, many witnesses did and evacuated the area, dropping their carry-on luggage and knocking over the retractable barriers.

This, of course, caused more chaos with even more passengers thinking it was gunshots they were hearing and in turn running outside the terminal.

As a result, the TSA decided to re-screen everyone at the airport including those who already boarded flights. In all, the process caused a 2.5-hour delay throughout most of the airport. However, the gate where the explosion occurred remained closed for four hours. Along with delayed flights, local news outlets reported that 24 flights were canceled.

Luckily, no one was hurt. 

New security measures could be coming

The TSA had just finished revising security measures regarding electronics. That includes requiring all travelers to remove all electronics from their bags and send them through a separate screening process.

In fact, last month the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a report recommending that all electronic devices larger than a smartphone be banned from checked bags. 

The FAA has already banned uninstalled lithium-ion batteries in checked luggage. The concern is if a battery comes in contact with keys, coins or even another battery, it could generate extreme heat. 

The report also mentioned that batteries packed near items like hairspray could cause a fire. An FAA test also revealed that packing a laptop next to nail polish, dry shampoo, rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer all started fires.

If this latest proposal is approved, all electronics will soon be required to be put in carry-on luggage.

Woman's headphones explode on her face while mid-flight

Exploding smartphones aren't the only things you need to worry about anymore. This woman on a flight out of Beijing was seriously burned by a pair of exploding headphones. What likely caused them to burst into flames is something that could happen to anyone! 

To read more on the passenger’s headphones catching fire, click here.

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