Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Forces Evacuation of Southwest Flight


A Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the kind of cellphone that has been recalled for overheating batteries, began popping and smoking Wednesday morning aboard a Southwest Airlines, forcing the evacuation of the flight while still on the ground at Louisville.

The incident happened about 9:15 a.m. as Flight 994 to Baltimore was boarding. Arson investigators confirmed that a Samsung phone overheated, leading to smoke in the cabin, according to WHAS-TV reporter Rachel Platt.

Nobody was injured, but the incident caused enough smoke to force evacuation of the plane and the flight was canceled.

Sarah Green of New Albany told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that her husband, Brian, was waiting to take off to Baltimore when his Galaxy Note 7 overheated. He called her from another person’s phone a little after 9 a.m. to tell her what happened.

“He said he had just powered it down, when it made a popping noise and started smoking,” Sarah Green said. “He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground.”

Green said her husband’s phone was a replacement Galaxy Note 7 after Samsung recalled the phone in mid-September because of “serious fire and burn hazards.” They took the phone in about two weeks to a local AT&T Store to have it replaced.

Samsung expressed skepticism the incident involved a new Note 7. “We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause,” the company said in a statement.

An airport spokeswoman, Natalie Ciresi-Chaudoin, said 75 people aboard the Boeing 737 evacuated without incident

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SOURCE: USA Today, Bart Jansen