Hong Kong Air Cargo is suspending carriage of Vivo smartphones as well as banning two freight forwarders after pallets of smartphones and accessories caught fire on the tarmac of Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).
The two freight forwarders said to be involved and subsequently banned by the Hong Kong Air subsidiary are Cargo Link Logistics HK and Sky Pacific Logistics HK.
The pallets contained a batch of Chinese-manufactured Vivo Y20 smartphones, scheduled to be shipped to Bangkok aboard flight RH331 taking off at 06:25.
Hong Kong’s The Standard newspaper reports that the pallets caught fire just after 05:00 on 11 April with firefighters taking 40-minutes to put out the fire. Three pallets were on the tarmac waiting to be loaded with the fire spreading to all three pallets.
Vivo Mobile Pallet Catches Fire While Loading in Cargo Plane at HKG pic.twitter.com/sW7NXIoPd5
— Solo Shokeen (@SoloShokeen) April 11, 2021
Some carriers, like Cathay Pacific, utilise fire containment bags for shipping dangerous goods such as lithium batteries and devices containing them.
Photos and videos posted online show burning pallets of cargo and scattered, charred blue and white boxes on the tarmac bearing the Vivo logo.
The carrier says it will cooperate fully with the investigation into the cause of the accident and the Hong Kong Airport Authority says no one was injured during the incident and, operations of the airport were not been affected.
Vivo is headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong in southern China and designs and develops Android-based smartphones, smartphone accessories, software and online services. The company also manufactures smartphones in India where it has been gaining market share.
Smartphones and lithium batteries are only allowed to be shipped on freighter aircraft, while passenger airlines require passengers to carry all items containing lithium batteries with them in the passenger cabin.