Bo Manor stu­dent suf­fers mi­nor burns in cell­phone bat­tery mishap on school bus

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

HACK’S POINT — A Bo­hemia Manor High School stu­dent suf­fered mi­nor burns to his right hand Tues­day af­ter­noon, when the bat­tery in­side his cell­phone mal­func­tioned and started smok­ing while he was rid­ing a school bus at the end of the school day, ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools of­fi­cials and the Ce­cil­ton Vol­un­teer Fire Co.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred shortly af­ter 3 p.m. on Glebe Road near Scotch­man Creek Bridge, where the driver stopped school bus No. 249 af­ter the stu­dent, whom CCPS of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied only as an 18-year-old male, suf­fered his burns.

Paramedics and fire­fight­ers with CVFC and Hack’s Point Vol­un­teer Fire Co. re­sponded to the scene, ac­cord­ing to Ja­son Reamy, a CVFC spokesman. An am­bu­lance drove the stu­dent to Union Hos­pi­tal in Elk­ton, Reamy re­ported.

“He had mi­nor burns to three of his fin­gers. He was taken to Union Hos­pi­tal; he didn’t need to go to a burn cen­ter,” Reamy said, be­fore qual­i­fy­ing, “There wasn’t an ac­tual fire. He was burned by bat­tery acid.”

CCPS re­ported that the stu­dent was “trans­ported by am­bu­lance for pre­cau­tion­ary eval­u­a­tion” in a no­tice that the school sys­tem posted on its Face­book page later Tues­day af­ter­noon.

The stu­dent suf­fered his mi­nor burns while try­ing to dif­fuse a prob­lem caused by his mal­func­tion­ing cell­phone, ac­cord­ing to Reamy.

“It had some­thing to do with the bat­tery in­side his cell­phone. The bat­tery mal­func­tioned and his phone got hot and started smok­ing. He took the bat­tery out and went to toss it out the win­dow. The bat­tery acid leaked out and he got some on his fin­gers,” Reamy out­lined. “The bat­tery acid also got on the bus seat and melted the vinyl, a very small area of the seat.”

Reamy re­ported that a Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­ga­tor was dis­patched to the scene to in­ves­ti­gate, which is pro­to­col in school-re­lated in­ci­dents.

On Tues­day evening, the Mary­land Of­fice of the State Fire Mar­shal re­ported that “in­ves­ti­ga­tors are still in the process of in­ter­view­ing wit­nesses and in­spect­ing the phone and its com­po­nents in­clud­ing the bat­tery ... An ori­gin and cause in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be con­ducted to de­ter­mine how the phone or its bat­tery ex­ploded in­clud­ing if it was an in­ter­nal mal­func­tion or from an ex­ter­nal source in­clud­ing be­ing ma­li­ciously mis­han­dled.”

Kelly Kee­ton, a CCPS spokes­woman, told the Ce­cil Whig that the in­ci­dent oc­curred to­ward the be­gin­ning of the af­ter­noon school bus route. The re­main­ing stu­dents on Bus No. 249, which “serves the area around the Hack’s Point store,” were trans­ferred to an al­ter­nate bus and that bus com­pleted the af­ter­noon route, she re­ported.

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