Sir, You're Going To Have To Check That Flaming Luggage

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A baggage handler at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport noticed something wrong with one particular piece of luggage. As a red backpack was waiting for its turn to be gently hurled into the belly of an airplane it emitted some smoke and then burst into flames. This left the handler with something of a dilemma...

Put the thing out or place it into a winged aluminum tube carrying 40,000 pounds of jet fuel? Fortunately, our brave handler patted out the bag and removed it from the queue before calling the authorities. As around 50 passengers had already boarded and jet fuel is notoriously flammable, I applaud the handler for his quick thinking. Apparently the bag had been caught between two larger bags on the landing belt and the friction from the moving belt and chemicals from broken toiletries in the backpack led to the fire. Which leads me to one helpful life tip-- don't wash your hair with kerosene. After a general freak-out involving deplaning the passengers and moving the plane away from the terminal the situation was resolved and the F-16's were called off (just kidding, probably). Everybody got back on the plane and made it out of there after only about an hour and a half delay, which is pretty incredible considering I've had flights delayed longer for MUCH more trivial occurrences than a flaming backpack almost getting loaded on board.




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