Over the weekend, Vivo Y20 cell phones and accessories which were made in Guangdong, China and headed to Bangkok caught fire as they were about to be loaded onto an aircraft in Hong Kong.
The phones were loaded across three pallets, all of which caught fire, and it reportedly took the emergency services some 40 minutes to put out the blaze. Sources told local media that, while the airport’s operations were not affected, a 24 by 12 metre space on the tarmac was damaged.
As a result shipper Hong Kong Air Cargo has banned carrying Vivo mobile phones. They will no longer accept shipments from Cargo Link Logistics or Sky Pacific Logistics, either.
Remember in 2017 when the U.S. government was requiring passenger electronics to be checked on flights from certain destinations? It came right after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was banned on planes due to fire hazard.
The requirement to check electronics was the height of insanity, since when electronics catch fire they can usually be contained in the passenger cabin but it’s much harder to deal with as cargo. It’s why airlines don’t allow lithium ion batteries to travel in checked luggage, and why a generation of ‘smart’ suitcases were been banned even as carry on bags, since there’s always the chance a carry on might have to be checked.
U.S. airlines generally carry fire containment bags and heat resistant gloves on their aircraft. That way when electronic devices catch fire they can deal with it.