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Entertainment & Arts

Russell Crowe sounds off on Virgin Australia over hoverboard ban

Russell Crowe

Actor Russell Crowe blasts Virgin Australia for hoverboard ban.

(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Russell Crowe had a very public spat with Virgin Australia over hoverboards that prevented the actor and his family from boarding a flight with the airline.

The outspoken Oscar winner took to Twitter to scold the company after he and his kids had to disembark a plane because they wanted to check their futuristic skateboards in as luggage.

“Ridiculous @VirginAustralia. No Segway boards as luggage? Too late to tell us at airport. Kids and I offloaded. Goodbye Virgin. Never again,” the 51-year-old tweeted on Monday.

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Perhaps the Aussie star was unaware of the numerous safety concerns with the boards. The popular two-wheel motorized scooters — big sellers this holiday season — came under scrutiny this month because of an issue with their powerful lithium-ion batteries, which can spontaneously ignite making them a hazard, especially on a flight. Several airlines banned the futuristic toys from their air crafts and many retailers, including Amazon, have halted the sale of some of the devices.

The airline responded to the father of two in a series of tweets, explaining the safety issues associated with the devices.

“Hi Russell, due to safety concerns over the lithium ion batteries in hoverboards, these have been banned on all major Australian airlines and many around the world. We’re sorry you were not aware of this prior to check-in today. We hope to see you on board again soon,” the airline tweeted.

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The "Noah” star still blamed Virgin and asked why he wasn’t informed when he booked his ticket, later writing, “I’m awaiting your reply, where is your duty of responsibility in this? Why not tell me when I am booking my ticket?”

Virgin Australia responded again by saying that the information is “outlined in the Dangerous Goods section in the booking confirmation and check in reminder emails” passengers receive. It also said that it publicized the ban on social sites and the media.  

“We understand your frustration, however please appreciate that safety is our number one priority,” it added.

The conversation appeared to end with the actor retweeting a hoverboard-packing follower who thanked him for the warning.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has investigated at least a dozen reports of the boards catching fire and has received reports of more than two dozen hoverboard injuries that led to emergency room visits. 

On Tuesday, the Deerbrook Mall in Texas also removed the devices from its stores after one that had reportedly been sitting in a box caught fire and led to an evacuation of the retail establishment, according to Forbes.

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The fire problem isn’t the only issue: Fall risks are also a major concern, said U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Elliot F. Kaye in a statement this month.

The safety commission received dozens of reports of various injuries from hospital emergency rooms, several of the injuries have been serious and include concussions, fractures, cuts, bruises and internal organ injuries. 

Kaye advised that users “always wear a proper helmet and padding while using this product,” which some doctors have also recommended.

As of Monday, there were 70 reports of emergency room visits because of hoverboards, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, CNN reported, with the hashtag #hoverboardfail taking off over the weekend.

Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson publicized his hard fall on on Tuesday.

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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