A jet carrying 229 passengers narrowly avoided disaster when a wheelchair stored in the cargo burst into flames shortly after landing at Manchester airport.

Ground staff unloading baggage from the First Choice vacation jet noticed blue sparks coming from the chair, it was revealed Tuesday.

The chair was removed from the Boeing 727-200 jet and placed on a vehicle — where it immediately burst into flames and was destroyed.

The scare happened on September 7, when the First Choice flight FCA 2662 jet landed in the early hours of the morning after a flight from Fuerteventura.

A spokeswoman for Manchester Airport praised the ground handling staff who "spotted the hazard and reacted quickly." The battery on the wheelchair should have been disconnected in the Canary Islands, she added.

The scare prompted the British Civil Aviation Authority to issue a warning to passengers about the dangers of "seemingly innocuous items," said a spokesman.

Geoff Leach, manager of the Dangerous Goods Office at the CAA, said: “Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the Manchester incident.

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