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Small Fire Inside Cabin Forces Plane Back To O’Hare

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The air traffic control tower is seen behind the departures level of Terminal 2 at O'Hare International Airport. (Photo credit: Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

The air traffic control tower is seen behind the departures level of Terminal 2 at O’Hare International Airport. (Photo credit: Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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(CBS) – Passengers aboard an American Airlines flight bound for St. Louis got a scare Thursday night.

A lithium camcorder battery stowed in an overhead compartment shorted out aboard American Flight 1159, bound for St. Louis.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said that when it set fire to the bag in which it was stored and smoke began to fill the cabin, the crew radioed O’Hare International Airport controllers for emergency clearance to return.

The plane landed at 8:05 p.m., 40 minutes after it took off. Langford said flight attendants used a hand extinguisher to put out what fire there was and placed the battery in an ice water bucket.

Aviation Department spokesperson Karen Pride said the plane made a normal landing.  Langford said fans were used to ventilate the plane.

The emergency return delayed the flight one hour.

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