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