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E-cigarette batteries blamed for fire aboard WestJet flight

Last June, a WestJet flight traveling to Vancouver turned back to Calgary shortly after take off.

While nearing 10,000 feet, the plane’s fire warning signals came on causing the flights and its 53 passengers to make a u-turn back to YYC.

<who> Photo Credit: Transportation Safety Board.

Six months later, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has determined the cause of fire to be a bag set ablaze by a pair of lithium-ion batteries powering an e-cigarette.

According to the TSB’s report, the passenger was a frequent flyer and aware of WestJet's policy against putting lithium-ion in checked luggage.

<who> Photo Credit: Transportation Safety Board.

"The passenger inadvertently packed two spare lithium-ion batteries for his e-cigarette in the front pocket of the bag. The pocket also contained a dry herb vaporizer, a portable speaker, and USB cables," reads the report.

"The checked bag proceeded through the passenger baggage security screening and was loaded into the aircraft's lower aft baggage compartment, while still containing the two spare lithium-ion batteries."

This incident has prompted the government to remind flight passengers that vaping devices cannot be put in checked luggage.

However, e-cigarettes are permitted in carry-on baggage.

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