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Flight diverted when lithium battery catches fire onboard

01 June 2017

The fire was put out, but the flight diverted to Grand Rapids, Michigan where it then sat on the tarmac for three hours while emergency crews took the battery away and inspected the plane.

A San Francisco-bound JetBlue flight was diverted Tuesday night after a carry-on bag containing an electronic device started smoking, the airline said.

"I was stunned", said passenger Kat Honniball.

However, airport authorities report that the fire onboard the aircraft had been extinguished by the time the plane landed.

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Flight attendants and passengers remained calm during the situation, according to Honniball. It's not clear what type of device caught fire.

The scare draws new attention to the potential hazards of lithium ion batteries on an aircraft at 30,000 feet.

A smoking laptop battery forced an unexpected landing for a transatlantic JetBlue flight Tuesday, renewing questions about the safety of flying with lithium-ion batteries. And safety advocates have warned that an electronics ban, which mostly affects flights leaving Middle Eastern and North African countries to the US and Britain, could be a fire risk since passengers have to pack their laptops and other large devices into checked bags that are placed in unmanned cargo holds.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was asked about the possible expansion during an interview with "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend.

Spurred by fears of terrorism, the United States government in March banned laptops in the passenger cabin on global flights from airports across the Middle East and North Africa.

Flight diverted when lithium battery catches fire onboard