Passenger’s smartphone catches fire as plane prepares to take off


A passenger’s phone caught fire on a Wizz Air plane minutes before it took off from Budapest airport, forcing the pilot to abandon the flight.

The plane was taxiing to the runway for the flight to Malm in Sweden when passengers noticed smoke billowing from a Chinese-branded smartphone.

The plane turned around and returned to the terminal for all passengers to disembark. Their luggage was also taken away.

Enik Varga, 53, was one of the passengers on the flight. She told Insider the crew responded calmly to the incident and knew exactly how to handle it, reassuring those on board.

“When we saw the smoke we knew we couldn’t catch the last train and would therefore be stranded at Malm Airport,” she said.

According to Varga, the crew taped the burnt piece of carpet to the phone, as seen in this photo:

However, only two passengers decided not to go back on board to continue their journey.

It is not known what caused the phone to catch fire or which company manufactured it.

In August last year, the crew of an Alaska Airlines flight from New Orleans to Seattle had to use fire extinguishers when a Samsung Galaxy phone overheated and ‘started sparking’ after landing of the plane, a spokesperson said.

Passengers had to use slides to escape as the cabin had become foggy with smoke.

Wizz Air has been contacted for comment and Budapest Airport declined to comment.


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