Replacement Samsung phone sparks evacuation after device catches fire

2016-10-05 21:40
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Lousiville — An overheated Samsung device created smoke that caused a plane to be evacuated at Louisville International Airport on Wednesday, an official said.

The smoke prompted Southwest Airlines to evacuate the plane before it departed for Baltimore, Louisville Metro Arson Captain Kevin Fletcher told news outlets.

A total of 75 people, including crew members, were evacuated from the flight, and no one was injured, said airport authority spokesperson Natalie Chaudoin.

US safety regulators announced a formal recall last month of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage. Locally South African Airways also confirmed that it has banned the charging of the device on board any of its airplanes. 

South African Airways Spokesperson Tlali Tlali stated that SAA has prohibited the charging of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on board all its aircraft when the first reports of exploding Samsung Note 7s surfaced.

Tlali told Traveller24 at the time, "We need to clarify that we have not banned the device on board our aircraft. We have placed a restriction based on safety considerations. What is prohibited is charging of the Samsung Note 7 devices on board our aircraft."

Tlali has not yet confirmed whether the airline would be changing its advisory from a charging ban to a total ban at this point. 

Sarah Green, of New Albany, Indiana, was quoted by The Courier-Journal as saying that her husband, Brian, told her his Galaxy Note 7 made a popping noise and started smoking after he powered it down. Green said the phone had been replaced about two weeks ago due to the recall. 

She said he called her from another person's phone to tell her what happened. Fire department Captaom Sal Melendez said the device overheated during the flight crew's safety demonstration.

Samsung said in a statement that the company is working with authorities to recover the device and confirm the cause.

What to read next on Traveller24:

- WATCH: Airlines ground Samsung Note 7 in-flight charging after battery explodes