US plane evacuated after new Samsung phone catches fire

US plane evacuated after new Samsung phone catches fire

Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) A plane scheduled to depart from the US state of Kentucky was evacuated on the runway after a passenger’s Samsung cellphone caught fire, airline officials said.

Passengers and airline employees were taken off Flight 994, which was scheduled to leave for Baltimore on Wednesday, after a customer reported “smoke emitting from a Samsung electronic device,” the New York Times quoted Southwest Airlines as saying in a statement.

The Verge news identified the passenger as Brian Green and his phone as “a replacement Galaxy Note 7”.

A Samsung official said in a statement that the company was unable to immediately confirm which device was involved in the episode.

“We are working with the authorities and Southwest (Airlines) now to recover the device and confirm the cause,” the statement said.

“Once we have examined the device, we will have more information to share,” it added.

The company, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker, announced last month that it would replace 2.5 million of the smartphone model because of a flaw in its battery that could result in the devices bursting into flames or exploding.

Green told The Verge news that he had picked up the new phone on September 21, after the recall.

The episode could be damaging for the company, because the replacement devices were thought to be safe.

The new models were approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which on Wednesday said it was investigating the episode.

Many airlines have started warning passengers not to use the Samsung phones while on their flight or stow them in checked luggage because of smoke issues.

Now, replacement Samsung Note 7 catches fire on US plane 

New York/New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Samsung woes over its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone are far from over it appears. Now, a replacement Note 7 device reportedly caught fire on a US flight, leading to cancellation of the flight after evacuation.

According to The Verge, Southwest Airlines flight 994 from Louisville to Baltimore was evacuated on Wednesday during the boarding process after a smoked Note 7 was spotted.

“All passengers and crew exited the plane via the main cabin door and no injuries were reported,” the report said, quoting a Southwest Airlines spokesperson.

Brian Green who bought the new Note 7 from an AT&T store on September 21, had turned off his phone after the flight attendant call and all of a sudden, the device began to smoke.

Green immediately dropped the phone to the floor of the cabin.

According to Green, the phone was letting off a “thick grey-green angry smoke.” The phone had burnt through the carpet and “scorched the subfloor of the plane”.

“A photograph of the box shows the black square symbol that indicates a replacement Note 7 and Green said it had a green battery icon,” The Verge reported, adding that Green has now bought an Apple iPhone 7.

According to Green, the phone was at around 80 per cent of battery capacity when the incident occurred.

Samsung later issued a statement: “Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.”

Green’s Note 7 was now with the Louisville Fire Department for investigation.

India’s civil aviation regulator last week lifted the restrictions on in-flight use of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone — but only those purchased after September 15.

On September 9, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had prohibited the use of the high-end smartphone on-board aircraft.

The DGCA said the usage restrictions have only been lifted for mobile phones purchased after September 15. Restrictions still continue for Note 7s purchased before that date.

The select type of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone allowed to be used on-board have a green battery charge indication on their screen.

A Samsung India spokesperson said: “It is important to note that Samsung has not sold a single unit of Galaxy Note7 in India so far. The ‘green battery icon’ will apply to all Galaxy Note7 units that will be sold to customers in India when it is launched.”

Samsung has recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over battery overheating issues globally.

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