A Flight Landed Safely in Seattle. Then, an Evacuation

Passenger's cellphone caught on fire on tarmac at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2021 8:19 AM CDT
A Flight Landed Safely in Seattle. Then, an Evacuation
An Alaska Airlines passenger flight takes off on March 1, 2021, from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Passengers usually breathe a sigh of relief once their plane touches down on the runway. For an Alaska Airlines flight arriving in Seattle this week, however, an incident after the aircraft had landed triggered an evacuation: a fire in the cargo hold that officials say was caused by a passenger's cellphone bursting into flames. KIRO 7 and Q13 report the fire took place Monday shortly after 8pm, right after Flight 751 from New Orleans had landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Based on an early investigation, Alaska Airlines officials say the phone burst into flames as the 737-900 was waiting for a gate to pull up, causing the plane to fill with smoke.

Photos emerged online of the smoke-filled cabin, as well as a short clip showing a flight attendant rushing to douse the fire. "Passenger tells me several fire extinguishers were used," KIRO 7's Kevin Ko tweeted. Officials say the fire was finally put out by crew members wielding a battery containment bag. Alaska Airlines notes the 128 passengers and six crew members had to depart the plane on evacuation slides due to the haze in the cabin, per KING 5. The passengers were transported to the terminal via buses, with only minor injuries reported. The plane, meanwhile, got a tow back to the gate. The airport didn't experience any disruptions as a result of the incident. (Read more Alaska Airlines stories.)

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