Fire causes Alaska Airlines plane to land at Buffalo airport

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — First responders were called to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Monday morning as a plane approached with a reported fire on board.

According to Alaska Airlines, Flight 17 was traveling from Newark, N.J.  to Seattle International Airport when it made an emergency landing in Buffalo at 8:15 a.m. EDT.

The airline released a statement saying smoke was coming from the battery compartment of a credit card reader so a flight attendant brought it to the back galley of the plane.

Crew members put out the fire using an extinguisher, according to C. Douglas Hartmayer, spokesman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Dispatchers requested help from the Buffalo Fire Department, but those firefighters were not needed for long at the scene.

The airline said there were never any flames and it was extinguished before the plane landed in Buffalo. There were 181 passengers and six crew members on the plane. There are no indications of any injuries to any passengers or crew members.

Passengers waited at Buffalo Niagara International Airport until a replacement plane was brought in. Alaska Airlines said they needed to put passengers on a different plane with unused fire extinguishers. The replacement flight was delayed multiple times.

The FAA warned airlines in 2009 credit card readers could be a fire hazard. The FAA said lithium and lithium-ion batteries commonly used in credit card readers can overheat and cause a fire. We asked Alaska Airlines if they knew about the warning and if this has ever happened before. They did not answer either question.

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