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10 Taken to Hospital After Spirit Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Battery Fire

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A total of ten people were taken to hospital on Wednesday after a Spirit Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Jacksonville, Florida, due to a battery fire in an overhead bin.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told multiple outlets that Spirit Airlines Flight 259 landed safely around 2 p.m., adding that the battery fire in an overhead bin was reported by the crew.

The plane set off from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and was originally heading to Orlando International Airport. The spokesperson added the FAA will investigate the incident.

Spirit Airlines told multiple outlets that its flight was “diverted” after a battery fire from a guest item. The fire was extinguished in flight, and the plane landed at Jacksonville International Airport and was taxied to the terminal “without incident.”

The airline said it was arranging alternate transportation for its passengers from Jacksonville to Orlando, reported News4Jax.

Rocco Chierichella, a retired New York City firefighter, and his wife, were on the plane, according to the outlet. He and other crew members worked to stamp out the fire.

He told News4Jax that “a battery-powered vape tied to a battery charging inside the [overhead] compartment” had “ignited a piece of luggage next to it.”

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department told local outlets that a total of 10 people were taken to the hospital. Initially, the department said one person was taken to the hospital from the airport, but more people started feeling ill as time went by. Department Captain Eric Prosswimmer said those hospitalized included passengers and crew members, adding that they are expected to survive.

A video posted to social media by a passenger on the plane showed firefighters and crew members walking to and past the site of the fire in the overhead compartment.

Separately, also on Wednesday, a Lufthansa Airlines plane from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany, made an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport in Virginia due to severe turbulence.

According to reports, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that Lufthansa Flight 469 landed “without incident” around 9:10 p.m. local time, and that crew members had reported severe turbulence when the plane, an Airbus A330, was at 37,000 feet over Tennessee.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) confirmed to CBS affiliate WUSA that at least seven people were injured and were transported to local hospitals.

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