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PICTURED: Charred phone that caused a fire on board an overnight NYC-London Virgin Atlantic flight

Photographs have emerged of a burned out phone charger which ignited a fire aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight from New York to London that was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday evening. 


Massachusetts firefighters took images that show the charred remains of a cell phone charger. 

The charger caught fire during the overnight flight, prompting the emergency landing in Boston.

Passengers had to abandon the Airbus A330 after firefighters were called to the plane at 9pm last night.

Massachusetts police said the phone charger caused the fire shortly after the jet took off from New York’s JFK airport. 

All 217 passengers and the crew were brought to safety, though one refused treatment for a ‘smoke-related complaint’.   

One passenger, Cory Tanner, alleged that customers had to sit in a ‘smokey cabin’ while they waited for a fire crew to arrive. 

‘Was told there was a fire and we would have an emergency landing shortly,’ he explained. 

‘Everyone could smell the smoke but was not told what the problem was until we landed. Once we landed all we were told was, there is a fire in first class. 

‘Having to sit here in a smokey cabin while we wait for firefighters to board and check things out isn’t great… Shouldn’t the priority be to get everyone off the plane first?

‘Was a good hour breathing in the electrical fire.’ 

He said he had been told that a TV unit in first class had caught fire, but later investigations suggested an external phone charger was to blame. 

The plane left Kennedy airport at 8pm local time, but information from Flightaware showed it began to descend again around 25 minutes after takeoff. 

It landed at Boston Logan International at 8.50pm. 

Virgin Atlantic said it was investigating what had happened in the cabin of Flight 138, which had been due in London this morning. 

‘The [flight] from JFK to London Heathrow diverted to Boston due to reports of smoke in the cabin,’ a spokesman said. 

‘Our crew responded immediately and the plane has landed safely in Boston. 

‘The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we are currently investigating to fully understand the circumstances. 

‘We’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we work with them to provide local accommodation or to rebook alternative flights to their final destination.’ 

It was the second unusual landing at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Thursday. 

Earlier, an American Airlines jetliner from Chicago declared an emergency when a cockpit light indicated an unspecified potential mechanical problem as it approached the city, but the plane landed without incident.

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