We all have some level of addiction to our mobile phones. Some of us can’t even bear to part with it when we have no reception at 32,000 feet in the air (*raises hand* guilty).

But if there’s one thing that’ll convince you to leave the device in your carry on (at least for a domestic flight), it’s finding out that it might be the cause of an in-flight fire.

Sorry, not might, it actually CAN be the cause of a fire because it actually happened.


An investigation is currently underway into the cause of a fire on a recent Qantas flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, which is believed to have been sparked by a passenger’s mobile phone, ABC News reported.

According to the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB), a passenger’s mobile fell into the reclining mechanism of an aircraft seat. The phone crushed when the traveller attempted to move his/her seat, leaving the battery exposed and that’s when the fire broke out.

A Qantas spokesperson explained that the lithium in the battery started to smoulder. He added that the flight attendant had moved quickly to extinguish the flames.

“The phone’s fallen down into the working’s of the seat and the passenger, in an effort to retrieve it, has moved the seat and as a consequence that’s crushed the phone.”

Qantas spokesperson

The spokesperson said the airline issues warnings in its safety videos, which urge guests to contact crew if their phone falls between parts of the seat.

“Simply because if you do move it you can wind up in a situation where it’s crushed and that then becomes a smouldering risk.”

Does this make you want to put away your phone when flying?