Plane evac­u­ated af­ter Sam­sung smart­phone starts smok­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

LOUISVILLE, KY. >> An over­heat­ing, smok­ing Sam­sung smart­phone forced the evac­u­a­tion of a South­west Airlines jet that was pre­par­ing to take off Wed­nes­day from the Louisville air­port.

The in­ci­dent raised fresh trou­ble for Sam­sung, which saw its new Galaxy Note 7 de­vice re­called last month be­cause of over­heat­ing bat­ter­ies.

Sam­sung, South­west and fed­eral avi­a­tion-safety officials de­clined to say what model of Sam­sung phone was in­volved, say­ing they were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

But an In­di­ana woman, Sarah Green, told The Courier-Jour­nal of Louisville that it was her hus­band’s Galaxy Note 7 that made pop­ping noises and started to smoke af­ter he pow­ered it down while the plane sat at the gate.

Green told the news­pa­per that her hus­band, Brian, re­ceived the Galaxy Note 7 about two weeks ago as a re­place­ment for his re­called phone. He called her from some­one else’s phone to tell her what hap­pened.

Last month Sam­sung agreed to re­call the Galaxy Note 7 af­ter re­ceiv­ing 92 re­ports of bat­ter­ies over­heat­ing in the U.S., in­clud­ing 26 re­ports of burns and 55 cases of prop­erty dam­age. The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion took the un­usual step of warn­ing pas­sen­gers not to use or charge the de­vices while on board and not to stow them in checked lug­gage.

Flight at­ten­dants on many airlines added a warn­ing about the Sam­sung de­vice to their pre­flight safety demon­stra­tions.

How­ever, the FAA’s ad­vi­sory to airlines did not ap­ply to re­place­ment Galaxy Note 7s. Those phones have a green bat­tery icon.

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co. said in a state­ment that it could not con­firm that the lat­est in­ci­dent in­volved a new Note 7. Sam­sung said it is work­ing with au­thor­i­ties to re­cover the de­vice and con­firm the cause of over­heat­ing.

The FAA also de­clined to spec­ify the model of the phone. Spokesman Ian Gre­gor said the FAA was still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

Wed­nes­day’s mishap oc­curred while the South­west plane with 75 pas­sen­gers and crew mem­bers pre­pared to fly from Louisville to Bal­ti­more. Fire Capt. Sal Me­len­dez said the de­vice over­heated dur­ing the crew’s safety demon­stra­tion.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

An over­heated Sam­sung de­vice created smoke that caused a plane to be evac­u­ated at Louisville In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Wed­nes­day.

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