NTSB Identification: NYC07IA063.
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Scheduled 14 CFR Jet Blue Airways
Incident occurred Saturday, February 10, 2007 in New York, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Airbus A-320-232, registration: N648JB
Injuries: 136 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
During climbout from the departure airport, a flight attendant noticed smoke coming from a bag containing camera equipment in one of the overhead bins. She extinguished the smoke, and notified the captain of the situation. He declared an emergency, and the airplane landed uneventfully at the departure airport approximately 6 minutes later. Examination of the bag containing camera equipment revealed that remnants of a 9-volt battery sustained damage consistent with a catastrophic battery failure. The main component of the 9-volt battery had a flashpoint of 21 degrees Fahrenheit, or room temperature. Other batteries, located in the same pocket of the equipment bag as the 9-volt battery, had unprotected contacts, including two fully charged 14-volt battery packs. One of the 14-volt battery packs displayed significant exterior thermal damage, consistent with damage from coming in contact with another battery. Battery industry research has revealed that a short circuit is the most common cause of battery fires, often initiated by contacts coming into contact with metal objects. Batteries are generally not designed to be able to contain catastrophic failures, and when they go into thermal runaway, they often explode and expel their contents into the environment, potentially causing ignition in areas well beyond the initiating battery cell.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The in-flight fire which was caused by the catastrophic failure of a 9-volt battery from an unknown cause. Full narrative available
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