Luggage catches fire on airport conveyor belt

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2012, 2:51am

The Airport Authority and the Fire Services Department are investigating a fire on a luggage conveyor belt yesterday.

A bag caught fire at 2pm and the flames spread to a second bag. No one was injured and no hazardous goods were found in the bag. The accident happened in the restricted area, where only staff were allowed.

The department said material from the bag was taken for testing and there were no signs of criminal behaviour.

It said the bag contained daily necessities and clothes, including some cosmetics.

The authority said the bag was in transit, and Cathay Pacific acknowledged it was on one of its flights.

Dangerous goods such as flammable liquids, corrosive substances and gas cylinders are not allowed on board.

Wilson Chau Cheuk-fung, lecturer in the department of applied science at the Institute of Vocational Education, said it was possible for other solids and liquids to ignite but the odds were remote.

Chau said if the bag contained make-up the accident could have been caused by toner containing alcohol. "Some liquid in airtight containers could cause an explosion after it evaporates to some extent at a certain temperature."

Although pressed powder contained wax, it would be less likely to catch fire because it should have been processed so the granules would not rub against each other.