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Fire aboard Spirit plane causes emergency landing, sends 10 to hospital

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(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Ten people were hospitalized after a Spirit Airlines plane bound for Orlando, Florida, made an emergency landing in Jacksonville due to a fire onboard, according to officials.

Spirit Airlines Flight 259 landed at Jacksonville International Airport around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, after the crew reported a battery on fire in an overhead bin.

The plane landed without incident and pulled up to the terminal before fire rescue teams went aboard the flight, Jacksonville Fire Rescue Capt. Eric Prosswimmer told reporters.

When emergency responders were able to board the plane, they discovered the fire in the overhead compartment had been caused by a battery. The flight crew on the plane had been able to put out the fire, but there was still smoke in the cockpit, according to Prosswimmer.

“The battery, I don’t know where it came from, but it had started a fire. The crew was very intelligent; they put it in a galley in a bucket of water,” Prosswimmer said.

The Airbus A320 departed Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and was headed to Orlando International Airport.

Shortly after landing, one passenger was not feeling well. They were examined by rescue teams before being transferred to the hospital, according to Prosswimmer.

At around 6 p.m., more crew members and passengers began to feel ill and fire rescue teams ended up transporting a total of 10 patients, all with non-life-threatening conditions, to the hospital, according to Prosswimmer.

The fire was caused by a lithium ion battery, officials said.

A retired fireman on board was able to help flight crew put out the fire, according to a passenger.

“There was a retired fireman that jumped up and flight crew came in and they tried putting water on it and another guy went and got a bucket because I think the fireman reached in and grabbed it and they got it put out, but it took about 20 minutes,” passenger Kerri Arakawa told Jacksonville ABC affiliate WJXX.

Arakawa said smoke had filled the cabin, but that the captain was able to land the plane quickly.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.

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