Ten hospitalized after fire forces Spirit flight to make emergency landing

·2 min read

Ten passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after a battery fire broke out aboard the plane.

It made an emergency landing at Jacksonville International Airport less than an hour after takeoff after crew reported a blaze in one of the overhead bins.

Emergency responders boarded the plane and found the cause of the fire was a lithium ion battery that ignited among passengers’ personal items. Jacksonville Fire Rescue Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said the flight crew extinguished the flames, but smoke remained in the cabin.

“The battery, I don’t know where it came from, but it had started a fire. The crew was very intelligent; they put it in a galley in a bucket of water,” Prosswimmer said.

The plane departed from Dallas at 2 p.m. local time and was bound for Orlando.

Shortly after the incident, multiple passengers and crew members reported feeling ill and were taken to the hospital in non-life-threatening condition.

Hours later, severe turbulence forced a Lufthansa flight to make an emergency landing in Washington, D.C., sending seven passengers to the hospital.

A retired firefighter who was aboard assisted the flight crew with putting out the blaze.

“There was a retired fireman that jumped up and flight crew came in and they tried putting water on it and another guy went and got a bucket because I think the fireman reached in and grabbed it and they got it put out, but it took about 20 minutes,” passenger Kerri Arakawa told First Coast News.

“The pilot got us out of the air really fast. It was exciting and had a really smooth landing of all the things, but it was quite frightening for a little while until we knew we were on the ground and safe.” he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.