A JetBlue plane's emergency landing exposes a great danger caused by Trump's laptop ban
It's an occurrence that exposes one of the major dangers experts have associated with the Trump administration's ban on large electronics in the cabin of airliners.
The Airbus A320, with 158 passengers and crew on board, landed safely at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan around 8:00 pm local time.According to the airline, the decision to divert was made after "reports of smoke emitting from a carry-on bag holding an electronic device."
However, airport authorities report that the fire onboard the aircraft had been extinguished by the time the plane landed.
"On May 30 JetBlue Flight 915 from New York's JFK to San Francisco diverted to Grand Rapids, Mich., following reports of smoke emitting from a carry-on bag holding an electronic device," JetBlue said in a statement. "The flight landed safely and the aircraft was inspected by maintenance crews before customers continued on to San Francisco."
There have been persistent concerns over the increased risk of cargo fires caused by large numbers of lithium batteries in the belly of commercial airliners.
"Lithium-ion batteries are inherently volatile. It's statistics. It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when one of these things blow," KULR Technologies co-founder and CEO Michael Mo told Business Insider in an interview earlier this year.
According to Mo, who specializes in thermal management systems for batteries, it's better for the batteries to be in the cabin as opposed to the cargo hold."So when (a fire) happens, it's better to have humans nearby to react and put out the fire," Mo added.
This is exactly what seems to have happened on board Flight 915.
Fortunately for the JetBlue flight, no injuries have been reported and the flight was able to carry on to San Francisco after the aircraft was cleared by the airport's fire department.
The Trump administration's laptop ban has been in place since March and covers non-stop flights to the US from 10 airports located in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Department of Homeland Security is evaluating an expanded ban that would include non-stop flights from Europe. However, no formal decision on an expanded ban has been made.
JetBlue Flt#915 f/JFK-SFO landed w/o incident here shortly after 8pm after reports of a lithium fire onboard. Airport FD responded (cont)- FlyGRFord (@FlyGRFord) May 31, 2017
(cont) 158 people on board are all safe, no injuries and fire was out before the plane landed at GRR.- FlyGRFord (@FlyGRFord) May 31, 2017
Our Fire Department cleared the scene, no injuries and all clear for JetBlue Flt#915. Plane is fueled up, & will be back en route to SFO- FlyGRFord (@FlyGRFord) May 31, 2017