Port Authority

Smoking Cell Phone Charger Delays United Flight at Newark Airport: Officials

What to Know

  • A United flight returned to the gate at Newark International Airport after a passenger's cell phone charger started to smoke
  • The charger was removed and "disposed of safely," Port Authority said
  • The flight ultimately made it to Chicago, but was delayed by about four hours, a passenger said

A United flight destined for Chicago returned to a gate at Newark International Airport after a passenger’s cell phone charger started to smoke, officials said.

United Flight 426 was taxiing around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when flight attendants were told that a cell phone on the plane was on fire, Port Authority said in a statement.

When Port Authority Police Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighters arrived, they determined the culprit was actually a cell phone charger that had started smoking, according to Port Authority.

“The charger was removed from the airplane and disposed of safely. There were no injuries,” Port Authority said.

The plane returned to the gate after the incident and the phone charger “was disposed of safely,” United said in a statement.

Molly Bangs, a passenger who was onboard the flight, captured video of firefighters boarding the plane to inspect the phone.

“A kid’s cell phone started smoking just before we were about to take off. A fire truck is now coming towards us on the tarmac. Can’t make this stuff up. At least @United is now giving us cookies,” she tweeted.

The flight eventually made it to Chicago — about four hours late, Bangs told NBC New York.

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