Brit aviation authorities warning after exploding wheelchair incident

September 24th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by ANI  

London, September 24 (ANI): In the wake of the recent exploding of an electric wheelchair shortly after a flight landed at Manchester, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has warned air passengers of the unlikely dangers their luggage may pose.
The incident occurred on September 7, when ground staff at the airport noticed blue sparks coming from the wheelchair, while they were unloading it from the hold of a Boeing 757.
The chair was removed from the aircraft, and immediately burst into flames.
Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the Manchester incident, but it does highlight the need for passengers to be extremely vigilant, the Telegraph quoted Geoff Leach, manager of the CAAs dangerous goods office, as saying.
Passengers need to be aware that some items, which are relatively innocuous in everyday use, are capable of posing a serious risk to the occupants of an aircraft, Leach added.
Though the wheelchairs faulty battery seemed to be the cause of fire, the matter is still under investigation.
A similar incident occurred in February last year, when a camera battery in an overhead locker short-circuited, causing a fire shortly after take off, though no-one was hurt.
The CAA is said to have warned passengers about the possible dangers on travelling with battery-powered items.
The authorities have also urged passengers not to carry goods like fireworks, flares, gas cylinders, and lighter fuel.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Airport has issued fresh guidelines that prohibit the wearing of any fashion accessories that resemble an offensive weapon. (ANI)

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