Lufthansa, Fire in Cabin

August 2, 2017

A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800, registration D-AIMI performing flight LH-440 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Houston Intercontinental,TX (USA) with 486 passengers and 24 crew, was enroute at FL380 near Montreal,QC (Canada) when a battery fire broke out in the cabin of the aircraft, which was extinguished by cabin crew. The aircraft continued to Houston for a safe landing about 4 hours later.

The FAA confirmed on Monday Aug 7th 2017, that there had been an in-cabin battery incident. On Friday Aug 4th the FAA had advised that they were not (yet) aware of such an occurrence. The FAA added on Monday that they are working with Lufthansa to find out more details about the occurrence.

A passenger in the aft cabin reported the aircraft was enroute near Montreal when a fire alarm triggered and smell of smoke developed in the cabin. The captain announced a short circuit had triggered a fire in the cabin, later reported that a silicon battery had been wedged into a seat of the business class causing a short circuit and a fire of the battery. The passenger reported everything except the exit signs went dark, only sirenes could be heard. Obviously vents were opened, an air rush exiting the cabin could be felt. Flight attendants battled the fire with fire extinguishers. After the fire was out the captain announced, that there had been no damage to the aircraft, hence they were able to continue to Houston.

On Aug 8th 2017 the airline confirmed the occurrence reporting an external power bank used to charge smartphones, tablets etc. caught fire after it got trapped in a business class seat. The airline routine warns passengers to avoid getting their personal devices and batteries be trapped in seats. 

On Aug 17th 2017 the Canadian TSB reported the aircraft was enroute about 260nm northeast of Montreal when the flight crew was informed about heavy electrical smoke/fire underneath passenger seat 10C. The source of the smoke and fire was identified as a passenger power bank stuck in the seat mechanism. Cabin crew extinguished the fire using three fire extinguishers. Once the fire was extinguished the smell dissipated after completion of the smoke removal procedure. No emergency was declared and the aircraft continued to destination. Maintenance repaired the seat and returned the aircraft to service.


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