- Jimmy Levy captured the chaos as the flight crew poured water over his backpack
- An investigation determined the fire was caused by a portable charger
This is the horrific moment desperate cabin crew tried to put out a fire on a JetBlue plane after American Idol star Jimmy Levy’s backpack “exploded” and burst into flames at John F. Kennedy Airport.
Footage shows the crew frantically pouring water onto a smoldering bag under a seat as frightened passengers can be heard saying “Oh my God” in the background as the plane waits to take off from New York on October 30.
Musician and former American Idol star Levy, 25, captured the moment after waking up to intense heat and described how he immediately realized his bag had caught fire.
The video shows cabin crew pouring water over the heated bag to cool it down.
Mr Levy said: “I thought someone had tried to attack me because I am a well-known political figure and musician, but upon investigation it appeared to be an overheated portable charger in my backpack.”
Former American Idol star Jimmy Levy captured the moment airline staff rushed to put out a fire that had started in his backpack
The clip captures the chaos of the event that led to the evacuation of the JetBlue plane
The musician (pictured on the 2020 season of American Idol) described how he “thought someone had tried to attack me.”
The cabin crew used water bottles on board the aircraft to extinguish the fire
In the background of the video, audible chaos can be heard from both the crew and other passengers
The heat from the flames woke Mr. Levy before the plane left JFK Airport
One person on the plane said, “I can still see smoke” as the bag got soaked
Mr. Levy said he did not use the portable charger that is believed to have caused the fire
A statement from JetBlue said: “Safety is our top priority and we are investigating the incident.”
The bag unexpectedly imploded under a passenger seat. After eliminating the hazard and conducting an investigation, it was determined that the cause of the fire was an overheated portable charger.
The 2020 American Idol contestant then frantically stomped on the fire to help put it out before flight attendants arrived.
The incident occurred on board a JetBlue flight – a US low-cost airline that was scheduled to fly from New York to South Florida.
The Miami, Florida singer, who has over a million followers on Instagram and more than 120,000 listeners on Spotify, called the experience “one of the scariest moments of my life.”
He added: “I was jolted awake by a sudden and terrible wave of heat that seemed to shoot towards my face.”
“I immediately opened my eyes and noticed my backpack, originally stored under my seat, now in a floating ball of fire.
“I pushed it to the ground and started stomping on it frantically to stop the fire from spreading.”
“With the help of flight crew and water, the fire was contained.” However, due to the seriousness of the situation, everyone had to evacuate the aircraft for a thorough investigation.”
A statement from the airline said: “On Monday, October 30, JetBlue Flight 1401 was scheduled to fly from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) prior to takeoff on Gate evacuated” due to a malfunction of a customer’s electronic device or battery.
“Our crew immediately responded and attended to the situation and there were no requests for medical assistance.”
“Safety is our top priority and we are investigating the incident.”