A charger that overheated inside a backpack in an overhead compartment on a Southwest flight from Chicago Monday sent smoke into the cabin and sparked an evacuation of the plane, the airline and authorities said.
Passengers were boarding Southwest Flight 285 from Chicago to Austin, Texas, at Midway Airport when smoke “began visibly showing around a customer’s backpack onboard the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.
Flight attendants placed the backpack in a fire-resistant bag and passengers were taken off the plane and into a gate holding room, the statement read.
Police said they were called to the scene just after 10:30 a.m. for a report of a backpack that caught fire on an aircraft. The aircraft was on the ground at the time but bomb and arson units were sent as a precaution.
The Chicago Fire Department said a charger overheated in the backpack and the incident was secured. No injuries were reported and the flight was expected to continue on a different aircraft.
“We’re grateful for the swift and safety-minded support by Chicago’s first responders to our Employees and Customers this morning at a gate at Midway Airport,” Southwest Airlines said in a statement.