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Severe Burn from Short Circuited Li-Ion Battery . LFI

What happened?
A crew member suffered severe burns when a Lithium-Ion battery on his person exploded and caught fire. The crew member was about to do the last task of the shift. He picked up a set of keys and a spare battery for his vaporizer from the table and put them in his pocket. He heard a loud bang and surprised, looked around to see the origin of the sound, and only then finding out that he was on fire. A motorman working nearby came to his aid and together they managed to get his boiler suit off. They saw the burning battery on the deck and stamped out the fire. Further assistance was called, and first aid was applied. The injured person was medevac’d shortly after to a shore-based hospital, where he was treated for 10 days before being repatriated to his home and undergoing further treatment.

What was the cause?
The metal keys created a short circuit with the battery. Carrying the battery in his pocket with the keys enabled
the keys to provoke a ‘thermal runaway’ by either puncturing the outer shield or by making a connection between
the plus and minus layers; the exact cause could not be determined conclusively.


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