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Spirit flight diverted after battery fire in overhead bin


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Spirit Airlines flight from Dallas to Orlando was diverted to an airport in Jacksonville, Florida, after a passenger item battery caught fire in an overhead baggage compartment, airline officials said.

Flight 259 landed safely on Wednesday afternoon and taxied to the terminal, the Florida-based airline said in a statement. Several people on the flight were taken to hospital because they felt ill.

“There was a retired firefighter who jumped up and the flight crew came in and they tried to put water on it and another guy went to get a bucket because I think the firefighter reached in and grabbed it and they got it out but it took over 20 minutes.” passenger Kerri Arakawa told FirstCoast News.

Jacksonville Fire Rescue officials said one person was initially taken to the hospital, but more people began to feel sick over time.

Fire Captain Eric Proswimmer told the TV station that they ended up taking 10 patients to the hospital.

Updates on their terms and conditions were not available.

“We thank our crew and guests for their prompt actions to ensure the safety of everyone on board, and we thank the first responders for meeting the aircraft,” the airline said.

The airline issued refunds and vouchers to passengers and arranged ground transportation to Orlando.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.