back to article Foreign objects in orifices a bigger killer than laptops

If you're worried about the prospect of dying at the hands of a flaming laptop battery while travelling, relax. It's far more likely you'll be killed by a firework, non-venomous insect, "legal intervention" or a foreign object in a natural orifice. Computerworld has kindly combed through Federal Aviation AUthority data to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a lot

    "there were a grand total of 109 incidences of batteries on planes exploding, enflaming or just plain smoking"

    So if you counted all batteries on and OFF planes exploding, enflaming or smoking, then it would be incredibly large!

    Conversely if you counted all the deaths from foreign objects in orifices WHILE ON A PLANE, then that would be tiny by comparison to batteries exploding.

    Seriously, that number is huge, far bigger than I would imagine and suggests a big problem with batteries.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      is a non-smoking flight!

    2. Naughtyhorse


      109 batteries out of 2.2 billion battery flights? huge???

      probability of 4.95x 10^-8 or a 1 in 20 million chance is not a big number in my book, okay tecnically there are a lot of noughts in it......

      And to try to extrapolate to lappie batteries in general is spurious. Think of the operating environment.

      To to the same with people would make DVT a greater killer than cancer.

      I worry about many things when flying, this is not, nor will ever be one of them

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    It's been quite a week for orifices

    This and Jack Straw talking about orifices in prison yesterday.

    Paris orif-course! <-- get it? Oh I give up, might as well get a job writing the Sun's headlines.

  3. Andy ORourke


    "The death - and 13 other injuries - resulted from a single incident, when a Taiwanese plane exploded on landing, after gasoline from a canister in a luggage locker was inflamed by sparks from a nearby motorcycle battery. See, the figures don't just cover notebook batteries."

    I assume this was before the 100ml of liquid limit was imposed then?

    1. Eddy Ito


      Worse, I can't imagine a reason to bring a canister of gasoline on an airplane. What are the possibilities; "I'm not paying the ridiculous fuel prices the car rental place", "Yeah, that's just a bit extra in case we run a bit low mid-filght", "What? This isn't what you meant by fuel surcharge"... nope, I just don't see it, unless they brought their motorcycle too...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So what are the chances of death or injury due to a bee flying up my arse?

    1. SirTainleyBarking

      I don't know

      This is a job for Mythbusters armed with a funnel and a jar of Honey!

  5. The Indomitable Gall

    Er... what?

    "A terrifying thirty were despatched by a "Foreign body entering through skin or natural orifice".

    And 360 were taken care of by "legal intervention involving firearm discharge"."

    Surely getting shot is having a "foreign body [bullet] entering through skin"?

  6. Dave 64 Silver badge

    hand baggage

    "gasoline from a canister in a luggage locker was inflamed by sparks from a nearby motorcycle battery"

    Two objects which I have never felt the need to take with me as carry-on....maybe I just lead a boring life

  7. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    Legal Intervention?

    "And 360 were taken care of by "legal intervention involving firearm discharge"

    Translation: Shot dead by cops.

    I wonder how many of these actually represented a real threat and required killing to stop them? And how many were guilty of such serious offences as being brown in a built up area, reaching for their ID when challenged, or being deaf / playing MP3s when told to "FREEZE MOTHERFUCKER!!".

    Perhaps a pie-chart is in order to prove that I'm far too cynical?

    1. Ammaross Danan

      A thought

      A cop I know was in a foot pursuit of a suspect when the suspect pulled out a hand gun and was firing at the cop (while still running btw). At that point, the officer emptied his entire clip into the suspect. Justified? Yes. Why? All shots from the suspect (6) did not hit the officer. How many could have potentially hit bystanders like yourself? Thankfully none did, but it was a risk that needed to be put down ASAP.

      Chalk at least 1 up to "entirely justified." I'm sure most, if not all, fall into the same category. It's the 1 officer-involved shooting that has some grey to it that gets blasted (and hyped) by the media that makes you think that all police officers may be racist and quick-to-the-trigger.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lower life forms

    "And, the story adds, most of the injuries were inflicted on baggage staff, not air crew or passengers."

    Oh that's alright then, as long as no humans were hurt.

  9. Bernard Mergendeiler

    Incicences .. and reflections, maybe?

    "there were a grand total of 109 incidences of "

    I guess angle of incidents equals angle of redaction.

  10. Dave Murray Silver badge

    ahhhh, I'm covered in beeeeees!


  11. Wommit


    If you're driving and a cop waves you down, because your typing on your iPad. And you try to conceal the evidence (of your prolific spending) by inserting the iPad in your <insert favourite bodily orifice here> but you didn't see the heat enraged butterfly that had just landed on said iPad, well your...

    I was going to say stuffed, but, of course you would be, to the gills even.

    Lets just say that you are now a statistic in waiting.

  12. Graham Bartlett

    Firearms and foreign bodies

    "Foreign object entering through the skin". Isn't that like the definition of getting shot, when a bullet goes through your skin?

  13. Graham Marsden

    Foreign body entering...

    ... you know where you can stick that...!

  14. censored

    109 exploding batteries....

    How many incidents of liquids being deliberately made to explode? None, I believe.

    Yet I can take my laptop on-board but not my water. Strange world.

  15. Eddy Ito
    Paris Hilton

    I'm sorry

    Are any of these "cordless drills and other power tools... followed by flashlights" related to these "Foreign body entering through skin or natural orifice"? What about the bees, hornets and other miscellaneous bugs? I just want to make sure we're keeping the accounting straight and not double dipping as it were. After all, I had an aunt who died with a bug up her <cough>... well, let's just say causation wasn't proved.

    If I'm in Paris, do I count as a foreign body?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Foreign body

      yes, unless you're French obviously. ;-)

  16. Stevie Silver badge


    Presumably, we're talking OpenOrifice 3.2 here.

  17. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Legal Intervention?

    Interestingly, 360 is exactly the estimated number killed by the Police + Garda + Army in 30 years of genuine terrorism in the UK - yet the US manage to do this per year without any real terrorists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      americans always have to exagerate things

      the americans like to to say they are threatend by terorists so they have reasons to invade countries, looking for oil. That's the real problem, and that's what happend with IRAQ. No bio-weapons :( they only found cheap oil.

  18. JC 2

    Remember What Those Objects Probably Are

    The so-called foreign objects should probably include a separate category, drugs (smuggling), but to these smugglers it's not so foreign to have a wad up the bum.

  19. fred #257
    Big Brother

    "Legal" intervention?

    ... involving firearms discharge? Just because the cops / security apes gunned down someone doesn't make it legal, does it?

    Oh, I forgot, it does. Even if there's an inquiry, it will be found to have been legal. And all the fault of the dead guy for giving the infallible authorities reason to suspect he was a terrorist - you know, carrying a bag, catching buses, looking like a Brazilian electrician... stuff like that.

    Yeah, right.

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