US federal authorities should consider further restrictions for electronic cigarettes on planes, airport officials said after one of the devices apparently started a small fire that forced passengers to briefly evacuate a plane last weekend.
Ed Freni, director of aviation at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Boston’s Logan International Airport, said the device was packed in a passenger’s checked luggage and burned a small hole in the bag. He said it could have been far more serious had a baggage handler not smelled smoke, located the smouldering bag and extinguished it before the plane took off.
E-cigarettes, which are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries. They are considered personal devices under U.S. aviation rules and are treated like other battery-powered devices, such as laptop computers, cellphones and cameras. Like cigarettes, however, passengers can’t use e-cigs in-flight.
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