A JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to San Francisco, with 158 people on board, was forced to land almost halfway through the journey due to a fire caused by a lithium battery in a passenger’s laptop. Flight 915 landed safety at 8:10 p.m. on Tuesday at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., and was later able to continue its journey to San Francisco after around three hours.

Firefighters responded to JetBlue plane

As reported by WZZM13, once the JetBlue plane had landed, firefighters responded to the scene, but flight crew had extinguished the fire before the plane landed.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said no injuries or damage to the JetBlue plane were reported.

According to a statement by JetBlue Airways, there had been reports of smoke coming from a carry-on bag, which caused the flight to be diverted to Grand Rapids. The New York Post notes that the airline had said the incident is still under investigation.

Passenger on JetBlue flight smells smoke

One passenger on the JetBlue flight said a passenger a few rows behind her smelled the smoke and then noticed that a backpack was burning. Kat Honniball went on to say that the flight crew were calm and prompt in responding to the incident. Honniball said when it happened, she was stunned and knew something would happen, especially with lithium batteries catching fire at 38,000 feet, but repeated that everyone on board the plane was calm.

Lithium battery headaches for airlines

The lithium batteries used in electronic devices have been causing problems on aircraft. In 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones saw a ban from flights after reports were received of the phones catching fire.

Electronics ban on laptops and other large devices is a safety concern

The Trump administration’s electronics ban, where laptops and other larger electronic devices would be banned from plane cabins, is causing concern for safety advocates.

Up until now the devices have been banned from flights leaving North African and Middle Eastern countries and heading to the U.S. and U.K. This ban was made due to fears that larger electronic devices could be used to conceal a bomb on flights. However, the ban may be extended to include some European countries.

This would mean that passengers traveling from the stated countries would need to pack their laptops and larger devices into their checked bags.

These would then be placed in the aircraft's unmanned cargo hold, leading to serious fire risks should the lithium batteries in those items catch fire.

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