US plane evacuated after new Samsung phone catches fire
Washington: A plane scheduled to depart from the US state of Kentucky was evacuated on the runway after a passenger’s Samsung cellphone caught fire, airline officials said.
Passengers and airline employees were taken off Flight 994, which was scheduled to leave for Baltimore on Wednesday, after a customer reported “smoke emitting from a Samsung electronic device,” the New York Times quoted Southwest Airlines as saying in a statement.
The Verge news identified the passenger as Brian Green and his phone as “a replacement Galaxy Note 7”.
A Samsung official said in a statement that the company was unable to immediately confirm which device was involved in the episode.
“We are working with the authorities and Southwest (Airlines) now to recover the device and confirm the cause,” the statement said.
“Once we have examined the device, we will have more information to share,” it added.
The company, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker, announced last month that it would replace 2.5 million of the smartphone model because of a flaw in its battery that could result in the devices bursting into flames or exploding.
Green told The Verge news that he had picked up the new phone on September 21, after the recall.
The episode could be damaging for the company, because the replacement devices were thought to be safe.
The new models were approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which on Wednesday said it was investigating the episode.
Many airlines have started warning passengers not to use the Samsung phones while on their flight or stow them in checked luggage because of smoke issues.