Man takes off trousers at airport after electronic device catches fire

A man was forced to strip down to his pants at the airport after an electronic device in his pocket caught fire.

Lwando Mashiamahle, 29, was waiting for his girlfriend, who was queuing to buy a plane ticket, when a powerbank in his trouser pocket overheated and burst into flames.

The incident was captured on CCTV at OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa.

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Footage shows Mashiamahle sitting down before a flash indicates the device has burst into flames.

He immediately jumps up and takes off his trousers while passengers waiting in line quickly back away.

“It felt quite hot in my pocket but I thought it was normal, like sometimes your phone heats up when you’re using it, but I never thought it could explode,” he told News24.

“I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do, I automatically just lost my mind. I was very, very scared.”

He added: “Fortunately I have no injuries but my pants were burnt and I had to quickly find the nearest shop to buy a new pair.“

It’s not the first time an electronic device has caused havoc for a passenger.

In February 2020, a plane had to make an emergency landing when a phone battery caught fire mid-flight.

United Airlines flight 1456, flying from Newark to Nassau, Bahamas, had to make an emergency landing at Daytona Beach Airport in Florida.

The battery fire was contained in the passenger’s bag and placed in a fireproof case after catching fire, the airport confirmed on Twitter.

It shared an image of the charred phone battery and a charger cable lying on the airport tarmac.

“United flight 1456, operating from Newark to Nassau, diverted to Daytona Beach due to a thermal runaway event onboard,” said a United spokesperson. 

“Emergency personnel met the aircraft and customers remained onboard prior to the aircraft re-departing for Nassau. We appreciate the quick work of our employees on board to keep our customers and fellow employees safe.”

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