Litium battery thermal event Serious incident Boeing 737-824 N24202,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 370271
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Friday 15 December 2006
Time:18:08 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-824
Owner/operator:Continental Airlines
Registration: N24202
MSN: 30429/581
Year of manufacture:2000
Total airframe hrs:21564 hours
Engine model:CFM International CFM56-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 160
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Colorado Spring, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH)
Destination airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The passenger was wearing an Ecoquest Fresh Air Buddy Personal Air Purifier around his neck. According to the manufacturer, it "generates an intense electrostatic ion wind that charges floating particles in the 'breathing zone.' The particles are substantially repelled away from the wearer, creating an almost particle-free 'exclusion zone' for toxic allergens, smoke, dust, viruses, and bacteria. Perfumes and odors can also be minimized by the ion particle-charging-effect." The passenger was observed to be holding a Sprint Trio 700 camera phone up to the window, sometimes talking into it, but he claimed he was only taking photographs. As he held his telephone to the window, there was a noise that sounded "like a fuse." There was a flash and a loud bang, and smoke emanated from the device. The passenger yelled and flung the air purifier from around his neck because it had started to burn him. It exploded into a ball of flames "about the size of volleyball" and fell between the seat cushions, starting a fire. Passengers poured water and other liquids on the smoldering cushions, and a flight attendant used a Halon fire extinguisher to put the fire out. The battery was never recovered. NTSB's fire and explosion expert examined the device. Her report stated that the air purifier originally came with a 3.6V CR123A non-rechargeable lithium primary battery, but a kit containing a charger and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery was available for purchase. The battery compartment cover was melted and deformed, and had two areas of metal splatter. Analysis of this splatter revealed the presence of manganese. Manganese dioxide is a component in primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries. The report noted that a short circuit is the most common cause of battery fires, and that charging a non-rechargeable battery could cause an internal short that could lead to thermal runaway, battery failure, and possibly an explosion.

Probable Cause: A short circuit in the primary (non-rechargeable) battery, most likely due to it being recharged. This internal short led to thermal runaway, battery failure, and an explosion.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DEN07IA037
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
13 December 2016 N24202 United Airlines 0 Denver, CO non


Revision history:

25-Mar-2024 08:55 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314