JetBlue flight makes emergency landing after battery fire

The scare comes as the US considers banning laptops on international flights.

May 31, 2017, 1:05 AM

— -- A JetBlue flight from New York to San Francisco was diverted on Tuesday after a lithium battery caught fire in the aircraft's cabin, authorities said.

JetBlue Flight 915 left JFK International for San Francisco International but was diverted to Gerald R. Ford International in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at around 8 p.m. ET, after the battery from a passenger's laptop caught fire, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Officials at Gerald R. Ford International said the aircraft had 158 people on board and that the flight landed "without incident."

"Our Fire Department cleared the scene, no injuries and all clear for JetBlue Flt#915," the airport said in a statement. "Plane is fueled up, & will be back en route to SFO."

Kat Honnibal, a passenger on the flight, told ABC affiliate WZZM that everyone remained calm throughout the ordeal.

"I was stunned -- I knew something was going to happen because, you know, lithium batteries catching on fire when you're up at 38,000 feet you can't help but think you've got to do something," Honniball said. "Everybody was absolutely calm."

JetBlue, which confirmed the incident in a statement late Tuesday, said it made the decision to reroute the plane "following reports of smoke emitting from a carry-on bag holding an electronic device."

The fire scare comes as the U.S. government considers a plan to ban laptops, tablets and some other devices on all international flights amid terrorism concerns.

The plan would expand a current ban and require electronics larger than the size of a smartphone to be checked in.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was asked about the possible expansion during an interview with "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend.

When asked whether he would expand the ban to cover laptops on all international flights into and out of the U.S, he answered: "I might."

The U.S. currently bans laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board flights from 10 cities, which are mostly in the Middle East, according to The Associated Press.

ABC News' Erin Dooley contributed to this report

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