Samsung phone bursts into flames on plane, forces emergency evacuation

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Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
  • In Seattle, a Samsung phone spontaneously burst into flames on a landed plane.
  • The crew had no choice but to deploy evacuation slides and remove all passengers. No one was seriously injured.
  • Reports indicate the phone was a Galaxy A21.

Yesterday evening, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a landed plane faced a serious problem. A fire created enough smoke that the crew initiated an emergency evacuation of all passengers using inflatable slides. No one was seriously injured.

The culprit of the fire is reportedly a Samsung phone, specifically the Galaxy A21 (via The Seattle Times). The owner of the device, a passenger on the flight, confirmed this to authorities. However, the phone was badly damaged enough that visual confirmation of this was impossible.

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Allegedly, the phone spontaneously burst and caused a small fire. The crew used a battery containment bag — an emergency device on most flights — to extinguish the fire. By then, though, the smoke was prevalent enough that the crew deemed an evacuation necessary.

The incident was handled quickly and did not negatively affect any other flights that day.

There are risks of fires and explosions with all lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and other electronics. This should not be seen as a problem with the Galaxy A21 or any other Samsung phone. This was likely an isolated incident that simply happened at a bad time. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

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