Battery fire in cabin of United plane sends 4 to hospital


A fire originating from the battery of an electrical device aboard a United Airlines flight forced a plane bound for Newark to return to San Diego on Tuesday and sent four people to hospital, officials said.

The flight crew aboard United Flight 2664 prevented the fire from spreading further and the plane returned to the airport, according to a tweet from the San Diego Fire Department.

Emergency personnel have responded and are currently processing passengers, San Diego International Airport (SAN) spokeswoman Sabrina LoPiccolo said in a phone interview with CNN.

FlightAware data shows the plane, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, took off from the airport at 7:07 a.m. PT and landed in San Diego at 7:51 a.m.

Fire crews assessed all passengers and crew, and four people were taken to hospital. Two others refused further treatment, according to another tweet from the San Diego Fire Department.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told CNN the fire originated from a laptop battery. “The FAA will investigate,” Gregor said.

The flight attendants who are credited with bringing the fire under control are among those taken to hospital, according to the airline.

“Our crew acted quickly to contain the aircraft and medical personnel met the aircraft upon arrival at the gate,” United Airlines spokesman Charles Hobart said in a statement to CNN. “Several flight attendants were taken to hospital as a precaution, and two customers were assessed at the scene.”

“We thank our crew for their prompt actions in prioritizing the safety of everyone on board the aircraft and we are making arrangements to get our customers to their destinations,” Hobart added.


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