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'The scariest moment of my life': one of the passengers' backpack caught fire during takeoff

'03.11.2023'

Alina Prikhodko

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A JetBlue passenger's backpack caught fire just as the plane was about to take off. The owner of the backpack called this event “one of the most terrible moments in my life,” reports New York Post.

On Monday, October 30, Jimmy Levy sat in his seat on a plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He woke up feeling very hot and immediately noticed that his backpack was on fire.

“I woke up to a sudden and terrifying wave of heat that seemed to shoot into my face,” said Levi, 25. “I immediately opened my eyes and saw that my backpack, which was originally hidden under the seat, had now turned into a flaming ball.”

Before the flight attendants could provide assistance, the guy began desperately stomping on his backpack, trying to put out the fire and prevent it from spreading further.

“I thought someone was trying to attack me because I'm a famous political figure and a musician,” said Levy, a contestant on the 18th season of American Idol. Levi has a million followers on Instagram and over 120 listeners on Spotify.

Safety is our top priority

The singer, from Miami, Florida, was scheduled to fly from New York to South Florida, but everyone had to evacuate the plane after the incident. “With the help of flight attendants and water, the fire was localized. However, due to the severity of the situation, everyone had to be evacuated from the plane for a thorough investigation,” Levy explained.

On the subject: JetBlue plane flips onto its tail as passengers disembark at New York airport

After the fire was extinguished and an investigation was conducted, it was determined that the cause of the fire was an overheated portable charger.

JetBlue confirmed the flight was evacuated before takeoff due to an electronic device or customer battery failure. “Our crew responded immediately and sorted out the situation; there were no requests for medical assistance. Safety is our top priority and we are investigating the incident,” the statement said.

It is not yet clear which portable charger caused the fire, but a similar incident has already occurred this year. In July, VRURC portable chargers were recalled after one caught fire during a commercial flight. As a result of that fire, four flight attendants had to be taken to the hospital with signs of smoke inhalation.

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