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The battery was not attached to a phone.

Talia Avakian
September 16, 2016

A cell phone battery caught fire aboard a Delta Air Lines flight on Friday morning, The Virginia-Pilot reported.

The flight—from Norfolk, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia—had just taken off when flight attendants and passengers noticed smoke.

“It wasn't a big flaming fire, it was more smoldering smoke,” passenger Kristi Parrotte told the paper.

Flight attendants, as well as some quick-thinking passengers, attempted to douse the fire with bottled water while asking passengers in the affected area to move to the front of the plane.

The attendants said the battery that caught fire was not attached to a phone and it was not clear who owned it, according to Kerry Dougherty, a columnist for The Virginian-Pilot who was on the flight.

It is also unclear what type of battery—and in what type of phone—it was.

There have been a handful of instances of phones catching fire on aircrafts, and the Federal Aviation Administration has warned passengers not to charge or use Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones while on airplanes.

Travelers boarding this Delta flight were told to keep their Samsung Galaxy 7 phones turned off and not to charge them, and everyone was told to turn off all of their phones once the fire occurred.

“We all made the comment that we see this kind of stuff on the news, but we’ve never seen this in person,” Parrotte said.

There were no injuries, however there was some damage to the seats, according to witnesses. The flight landed without additional incident.

"Delta is working to determine the source and type of the battery and will work with aviation safety officials,” Morgan Durrant, a spokesman for Delta said in a statement to Travel + Leisure. "Safety is always Delta's top priority," Durrant said. 

Talia Avakian is a digital reporter at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @TaliaAvak.

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