A power bank exploded in the cabin of an AirAsia passenger plane during a scheduled flight in Thailand, causing fire, smoke and panic among passengers.

During a scheduled AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Nakhonsitthammarat in southern Thailand, an external battery for portable devices (power bank) exploded in the cabin of a passenger plane. Flames and acrid smoke spread through the cabin, causing panic among the passengers on the flight.

Thai PSB reported that an AirAsia Airbus A320 passenger plane was on a scheduled domestic flight on the Bangkok-Nakhonsitthammarat route when flames and acrid smoke appeared in the cabin 30 minutes into the flight.

Passengers on board hurriedly left their seats and ran to the other side of the aircraft. Some clutched their children to them. As the smoke filled the cabin, passengers began frantically moving their belongings away from the flames. Others rushed for bottled water to put out the fire on their own.

“The whole plane went into a state of chaos,” said Sayan Shrimai, a passenger on the ill-fated flight, who recorded the incident on video.

Shocked crew members rushed to the middle row of the aircraft to put out the fire while anxious passengers watched on in fear. Meanwhile, flight attendants quickly and professionally extinguished the fire in the cabin using fire extinguishers.

One leather seat was burnt and charred from the fire in the cabin. However, despite the incident in the air, the aircraft landed exactly on schedule, and no one was injured.

“The flight had already lasted for half an hour when suddenly a fire started in the middle of the aircraft in row 15, and smoke rose, which was extremely shocking for the passengers. However, thanks to the professional actions of the crew, it took literally two minutes to extinguish the fire that suddenly broke out,” said a passenger on the flight.

After arriving at the destination airport, airline technicians boarded the flight to check the damage and found black heat marks on the seat. Passengers were told that a power bank was stored in the pocket of the seat cover, which heated up, ignited and exploded during the flight.

Airlines only allow power banks in carry-on luggage and not in checked baggage because the lithium-ion batteries can overheat and cause a fire in the cargo hold.

“The passenger to whom the power bank belonged was travelling with a large group of seven or eight people. When the fire broke out, the man quickly left his seat and was not injured,” said a passenger who witnessed the incident.

Last week, a passenger plane had to make an emergency landing in Hong Kong when a power bank also exploded in the cabin, filling the cabin with smoke. The Royal Air Philippines plane was travelling from Boracay Island to Shanghai when an electronic device exploded in the cabin.

Firefighters and paramedics boarded the plane and conducted a safety check. No one was injured.

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