E-cigs prohibited in baggage, DCA says after vape battery catches fire in plane

The battery of an electronic smoking device reportedly caught fire onboard a Malindo Air flight on Oct 25, 2015. — File pic
The battery of an electronic smoking device reportedly caught fire onboard a Malindo Air flight on Oct 25, 2015. — File pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 -- The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said today it is investigating an incident yesterday where an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) battery burst into flames in a Malindo Air flight.

The DCA also pointed at technical instructions by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which among others bans passengers and crew from carrying battery-powered smoking devices in checked baggage.

“These instructions shall be complied with by the airline operators, crew and passengers so as to avoid similar incidents in the future,” DCA said in a statement.

The other instructions for Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air also prohibits charging of portable smoking devices in cabin, and stipulates that batteries must be removed from the devices and put in proper storage.

Yesterday, while enroute to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 from Kota Kinabalu, the battery in an e-cigarette carried by a Malindo Air passenger suddenly burst into flames.

In the 6.45pm incident which occurred after the aircraft had just taken off from Kota Kinabalu, Malindo Air passengers and flight crew faced anxious moments as the man sustained burns on the thighs and left hand.

However, Malindo Air did not lodge any complaint over the incident.

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