On 1 October 2020, a British Airways Boeing 787-9 (registered G-ZBKF) operated a regular flight to London Heathrow, United Kingdom. The aircraft was approaching the top of descent when the cabin crew saw smoke emanating from a passenger seat. It was discovered that a mobile phone had fallen down the side of the seat and had been crushed in the seat mechanism.
The cabin crew extinguished the fire and the aircraft continued to its destination. There was no damage to the aircraft.
“There have been several reports of similar events occurring leading to smoke in the cabin. There are currently no seat design requirements to prevent electronic devices from becoming trapped in seats,” British Air Accidents Investigation Branch writes, adding that: “manufacturers and regulators are aware of this issue but it has proven challenging to find a workable solution. The EASA and the SAE International Seat Committee have taken safety action to develop new design standards and recommended practices. A safety recommendation is made to the CAA to improve seat design regulations.”
Full report: AAIB investigation to Boeing 787-9, G-ZBKF