Woman burned after headphones explode while she slept on flight

A sleeping passenger on a flight from Beijing, China, to Melbourne, Australia, got a rude awakening on Wednesday after the battery-powered headphones she was wearing exploded mid-flight.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued a statement on Monday detailing the horrific scene.

About two hours into the flight, the sleeping passenger reportedly began to feel uncomfortably hot, right before hearing a loud explosion.

"As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face," she told the bureau. "I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck. I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire."

See photos of the injury:

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Woman's headphones explode on flight
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Woman's headphones explode on flight
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Luckily, stewards were quick to rush to the woman's aid.

"As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them," the victim said. "They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane."

According to the bureau, the battery and battery cover of the headphones were so hot that they melted onto the floor of the plane.

Unfortunately, passengers had to endure the smell of burnt hair and plastic for the rest of the flight.

The Bureau issued a general warning about bringing battery-powered devices on flights, although they did not specify the exact brand of the headphones that caused the accident.

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Graphiq: Ranking the best headphones for runners
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Graphiq: Ranking the best headphones for runners

21. Denon AH-W150

Smart Rating: 74.95
Price: $99
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 23 g
Available Color(s): Blue, Black, Yellow

20. Polk Audio Nue Era

Smart Rating: 75.35
Price: $45
Wireless: No
Weight: 110 g
Available Color(s): Tortoise, Black

19. SOUL SL99

Smart Rating: 75.48
Price: $55
Wireless: No
Weight: 18 g
Available Color(s): Black

18. Sennheiser CX 686G SPORTS

Smart Rating: 76.91
Price: $70
Wireless: No
Weight: 22.7 g
Available Color(s): Green

17. Westone ADV Alpha

Smart Rating: 78
Price: $250
Wireless: No
Weight: 17 g
Available Color(s): Grey/Black

16. Soul Flex

Smart Rating: 78.72
Price: $69.99
Wireless: No
Weight: 18 g
Available Color(s): Green, Blue

15. Klipsch Image S4i

Smart Rating: 78.8
Price: $100
Wireless: No
Weight: 11.9 g
Available Color(s): Black,White

14. Optoma NuForce BE6

Smart Rating: 79.5
Price: $119
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 16 g
Available Color(s): Gold, Grey

13. Klipsch Image S5i Rugged

Smart Rating: 82.27
Price: $130
Wireless: No
Weight: 11.9 g
Available Color(s): Black

12. Sennheiser OCX 686G SPORTS

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Price: $109.95
Wireless: No
Weight: 23 g
Available Color(s): Green

11. Jabra Rox

Smart Rating: 83.83
Price: $79.99
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 18 g
Available Color(s): Black

10. Yurbuds Leap Wireless

Smart Rating: 84.22
Price: $100
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 17.2 g
Available Color(s): Black

9. Klipsch S4i Rugged

Smart Rating: 84.37
Price: $78
Wireless: No
Weight: 14.7 g
Available Color(s): Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow

8. Plantronics BackBeat Go 2

Smart Rating: 84.8
Price: $44.12
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 14 g
Available Color(s): Black, White

7. Phiaton MODERNA MS 200

Smart Rating: 87.09
Price: $82.52
Wireless: No
Weight: 5.6 g
Available Color(s): Black,Red

6. Jabra Sport Coach

Smart Rating: 87.48
Price: $128.99
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 16 g
Available Color(s): Blue/Grey,Red/Grey,Yellow/Grey

5. Sennheiser CX 275s

Smart Rating: 88.41
Price: $39.33
Wireless: No
Weight: 15 g
Available Color(s): Black

#4. AKG K391 NC

Smart Rating: 88.97
Price: $199.95
Wireless: No
Weight: 8 g
Available Color(s): Black/Silver

3. Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9iS SonicFuel

Smart Rating: 92.33
Price: $66
Wireless: No
Weight: 10 g
Available Color(s): Black, Silver

2. Atomic Floyd SuperDarts

Smart Rating: 92.91
Price: $260.15
Wireless: No
Weight: 5.6 g
Available Color(s): Red/Black

1. Logitech UE 900

Smart Rating: 96.63
Price: $299.99
Wireless: No
Weight: 16 g
Available Color(s): Blue

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Some safety guidelines they provided are:

  • Batteries should be kept in an approved stowage, unless in use
  • Spare batteries must be in your carry-on baggage NOT checked baggage
  • If a passenger's smart phone or other device has fallen into the seat gap, locate their device before moving powered seats
  • If a passenger cannot locate their device, they should refrain from moving their seat and immediately contact a cabin crew member.
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