By Stacey Leasca
August 01, 2018
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On Tuesday, passengers were forced to flee a Ryanair flight moments before takeoff after a phone charger burst into flames in the cabin.

According to the Independent, a passenger was charging a mobile phone with an external battery charger when it suddenly caught on fire. The smoke from the phone and charger quickly filled the cabin. Another passenger caught the event on camera, and the video shows the phone engulfed in flames while passengers scream in the background.

“I’ve never seen so many people so scared in there (sic) life,” Instagram user Anthony Carrio wrote in the caption of the post. “Portable charger blew up in the same row as I was sitting. Everyone tries to run and all I do was put it out with water. Luckily it was just before taking off.”

However, it should be noted that it isn’t safe to put out electrical fires with water, as doing so can cause an electrical shock.

Passengers on board the Ryanair plane, which was set to take off from Barcelona to Ibiza, were ordered to quickly make an emergency exit down the plane’s inflatable slides. Again, a passenger was able to capture the scene, showing chaos as passengers piled up at the bottom of the slide, while others made an emergency exit carrying their luggage, which is a huge no-no.

For its part, Ryanair shared in a statement that “All passengers were safely evacuated back to the terminal and cabin crew dealt with the mobile phone. Ryanair worked to arrange a spare aircraft to re-accommodate these passengers with the minimum delay.”

According to the Independent, the airline does indeed allow passengers to carry up to two spare lithium ion batteries in carry-on baggage. “These must be individually protected to prevent short circuits,” reps for the airline stated. “Battery terminals must be either recessed or packaged so as to prevent contact with metal objects including terminals of other batteries.”

Ryanair is far from alone in battery-related fires. As the Independent noted, the latest Federal Aviation Administration figures show that, "air/airport incidents involving lithium batteries carried as cargo or baggage" happen, on average, once every 50 days.

Because of the risk associated with the batteries, many airlines are banning people from traveling with them. And that can even include smart luggage that allows travelers to charge their electronics on the go, so be sure to check your airline's rules before your next trip.