Burning iPhone forces plane to make emergency evacuation

burntiPhone

Perfectly burnt iPhone. Photo: Carlos Sancho Flickr

The TSA has started treating smartphones with dead batteries like potential bombs, but after an iPhone mishap on one plane caused an emergency evacuation, maybe they should be more worried about all the iPhones with a full charge too.

Panic broke out on a flight bound for Prague this weekend after an iPhone 5 caught fire in a passenger’s bag, causing the entire plane to be evacuated back to the main terminal.

The plane’s cabin quickly filled with smoke after a¬†girl’s iPhone 5 spontaneously burst into flame, but luckily the flight hadn’t taken off yet. Flight crews asked everyone to disembark once the first signs of smoke were seen, but its cause wasn’t immediately apparent until the young girl checked her bag to find flames and smoke radiating out the iPhone.

None of the 150 passengers  boarding the plane when the fire started were hurt, and after a thorough re-inspection the flight was finally cleared, although the girl did have to leave her iPhone 5 behind.

The cause of the iPhone fire is not known, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen and iPhone or iPad suddenly catch fire. An iPad Air exploded in Australia late last year, causing severe damage to a Vodafone store in Canberra, while a flaming iPhone 5c set a girl’s pants on fire earlier this year.

  • Sarcastic Curmudgeon

    More visual proof is needed.

  • Ari Rando

    Exactly! More visual proof is needed and the cause of this incident must be shown to help users identify why “fires” happen out of such safe gadgets – or else not a lot of people, instead of all of us, would own them. A more thorough news publishing is necessary.

  • crabtrem8

    Every instance I have heard of had replacement batteries installed, that were not affiliated or approved by Apple.

    • lucascott

      the australian phone incident was attributed to a screw that the technician accidentally left under the 3rd party battery, puncturing the soft shell etc. the iPad was allegedly from the charging port and never confirmed that it was a legit Apple cable. The iPhone 5c may have been bent or cracked from being repeatedly sat on, leading to battery damage.

      and according to this source article the flight was leaving from israel where there is no official Apple store. so who is to say that it wasn’t a 3rd party battery etc

      • crabtrem8

        Thanks for the details. Very interesting.

  • Symbian for the win

    i have an iPhone will i explode too :(

  • Charles Ryan Loring

    pic is an iPhone 4 (see 30 pin dock) yet article says iPhone 5. which is it?

    • lucascott

      don’t let facts get in the way of a good hit fodder

  • Kr00

    I think before the media send out a lynch mob over this, its important to remember that batteries for all mobile devices are made by a hand full of third party manufacturers, and this sort of thing can happen to a battery in any device, if it has any kind of fault. With a 1/100,000 chance of having a faulty unit, this kind of event isn’t out of the ordinary, and not all events are this dramatic. Most aren’t reported at all. So I don’t think people need to be defensive about this happening to an iPhone. By shear mass of numbers, its bound to happen.

  • moofer

    So far every fire I’ve seen reported in the press has been due to a 3rd party charger. This one was in a bag, so it wasn’t charging. Did she leave the camera on and pack the phone in with a sweater to hold all the heat in?

  • Hardy Thomas

    The reason is when you place a phone in a bag with your airplane mode off and it’s in a near zero network zone it will try desperately to pull in network with all the available battery. This process heats the phone up. But it doesn’t catch fire on its own. Other stuff placed in the bag which cannot withstand after a certain temperature ignites itself and the fire starts affecting the phone invariably making it explode it’s battery.

  • Iphone5s

    iPhone BULOK…

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , |