‘E-cigarette catches fire’ on easyJet flight as cabin fills with smoke

Shocking moment e-cigarette explodes on EasyJet flight

An easyJet flight was forced to make a U-turn after an object in one of the aircraft’s overhead compartments reportedly caught fire, filling the cabin with smoke. Frantic footage shows the moment the item ablaze, which first reports described as an electronic cigarette, was slapped out of the storage area by a brave passenger.

The easyJet Airbus A320 had taken off from Geneva and was on its way to Amsterdam on May 18 when one of the passengers spotted smoke coming out of a hand luggage compartment.

The video, taken by one of the people sitting just a few rows away from the compartment, caught on camera the inside of the locker turning bright orange.

A group of men gathered around the blaze and tried grabbing the bag from inside the storage area.

After a few hectic seconds, one of them intrepidly took hold of the fiery red item ablaze with his bare hand and tossed it to the side, as flaming debris was flying around.

The rest of the group then started stamping on it to put the fire out, while other passengers could be heard screaming in fear.

As shown in the clip, shared by Radio Television Switzerland (RTS), the glow from inside the overhead compartment eventually died out, leaving behind only smoke.

After the incident was dealt with, the aircraft returned to Geneva, and the flight was rescheduled for the following day.

easyJet said in a statement: “The incident will be the subject of a formal investigation, in accordance with the procedures”. The company added that “the safety of our passengers and crew is our first priority”.

A young couple on the flight, Julie and Jérôme, recalled witnessing the horrific episode and the fear of being “stuck” on a plane when a fire is being put out.

He told RTS: “It seems like it lasts forever, when it’s really only a few seconds and everything was extinguished very quickly.

“There is this smell that takes to the throat and we panic, because ‘we’re stuck on a plane’.”

Airline groups have stringent rules when it comes to taking on board e-cigarettes, which have become a popular replacement for normal cigarettes over the past decade.

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easyJet’s regulations on cigarettes and e-cigarettes read: “You can carry cigarettes in your cabin bag. (It’s worth checking how many cigarettes you’re allowed to bring into your destination country).

“Lighters can be taken on board but they must be carried in your pocket. Matches are not allowed on board.

“You can carry e-cigarettes and a maximum of two spare batteries in your cabin bag – but not in the hold.”

The low-budget airline company also stresses it is a “criminal offence” to smoke any type of cigarette on the plane.

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