United A320 makes emergency landing after laptop battery fire

United Airbus A320 sporting the new livery. Photo by Brandon Ravelo | AeroNewsX

A United Airlines Airbus A320-232 was forced to make an emergency landing in Daytona Beach on Wednesday, due to a laptop battery fire. No one was injured and the flight, which was originally planned to go from New Jersey to Nassau in the Bahamas, took off again just an hour later.

FlightRadar24 data shows that UA1456 took off from Newark Liberty Int’l Airport at 7:59am. The incident reportedly took place at 10am, approximately two hours into the flight. The A320 promptly began its descent into Daytona Beach, FL, and landed at 10:25am. After taking off again, the aircraft reached Nassau about two hours after its scheduled arrival time of 10:37am.

“United Flight 1456, operating from Newark to Nassau, diverted to Daytona Beach due to an issue with a passenger’s backup laptop battery charger. Emergency personnel met the aircraft and customers remained on board prior to the aircraft departing for Nassau. We appreciate the quick work of our employees on board to keep our customers and fellow employees safe,” the airline said in a statement.

Battery fires and explosions from many different mobile devices including tablets, phones and laptops have become an increasing problem and safety issue in the aviation industry.

In 2019, the US banned lithium batteries from being taken as checked luggage or cargo on passenger aircraft. Increasingly, passengers are also being told to place mobile devices, particularly laptops, in separate trays when moving through security. According to the FAA, there has been 268 reported incidents involving lithium batteries between 2006 and 2020.

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