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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 210676
Last updated: 26 October 2021
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Time:c. 12:15 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B772 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 777-206ER
Owner/operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-BQB
MSN: 33712/457
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:NW of Phuket -   Thailand
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS/EHAM)
Destination airport:Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/WMKK)
KLM flight KL809 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur diverted to Phuket, Thailand after smoke accumulated in the cabin when a passenger's mobile phone overheated. The aircraft departed Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at 21:04 hour local time (19:04 UTC) on May 8. The flight was cruising at FL390 over the Andaman Sea a sleeping passenger in a business class seat dropped his mobile telephone. When the passenger woke up, and placed the seat in the upright position, the telephone shattered. This caused overheating leading to what is known as thermal runaway of the lithium-ion battery in the telephone. A considerable volume of smoke was released, which was concentrated in a small section of the cabin sealed off by curtains.
The cabin crew used halon fire extinguishers and 10 to 20 litres of water to control the smoke development and to reduce the risk of fire. Initial attempts by the crew to remove the burning telephone from the seat failed. They eventually succeeded by using the fire axe, and by changing the seat position. The crew then cooled the removed telephone in a container filled with water.
Following the incident, the mobile telephone was handled as dangerous goods by the crew, and stored in the rear toilet. None of the crew members wore an oxygen mask or protective gloves. Following the incident, two crew members reported irritation of the airways and eyes. Two other crew members suffered minor injuries to their hands.
The captain decided to divert to Phuket International Airport in Thailand. The reason for this decision was the large volume of extinguishing water used and the possibility that the seat was still smouldering. The aircraft made a safe landing.
The airline in question is considering reviewing the protective equipment and the equipment available on board to fight fires caused by lithium-iron batteries. The airline is also investigating the effectiveness of existing passenger instructions for the adjustment of seats in relation to electronic devices that may end up trapped in the seat.

ASN Safety Issue: Lithium Battery Safety


Photo of PH-BQB courtesy

Amsterdam - Schiphol (EHAM / AMS)
1 May 2021; (c) Kjell

Revision history:

09-May-2018 10:48 harro Added
09-May-2018 10:54 harro Updated [Location, Source]
16-Dec-2019 20:04 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]

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