09 Oktober 2016

[091016.EN.BIZ] Samsung Phone Blamed For Smoke On Southwest Jet

SOUTHWEST Airlines said a Samsung smartphone caused smoke that forced the evacuation of a plane waiting to depart from Louisville, Kentucky, almost three weeks after US safety regulators started an official recall of the Galaxy Note 7, said Bloomberg.

None of the 75 passengers and crew was injured after smoke was reported in the cabin of the Boeing 737, said Natalie Chaudoin, a spokeswoman for the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.

Flight 994, headed for Baltimore-Washington International Airport, was still at the gate when the incident occurred. The type of Samsung phone involved hasn't been determined, Southwest said.

"Samsung is looking into the issue and will have to confirm the model," Lori Crabtree, a spokeswoman for the airline, said in an emailed statement. The incident involved "just smoke - no explosion or flames of any kind," she said in an e-mail. "Some charring occurred to the carpet."

The phone involved was a replacement Galaxy Note 7, owner Brian Green told The Verge, a technology news-focused website. Mr Green said he picked up the phone at an AT&T Inc. store on September 21, and showed The Verge a photograph of the box that displayed a black square symbol indicating a replacement phone.

Samsung recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because a battery flaw can lead to overheating, posing a burn hazard to consumers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate the report that a phone was the source of the smoke, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is communicating with the FAA and Samsung to determine whether the initial reports are accurate, spokesman Scott Wolfson said in an e-mail. Samsung didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Southwest aircraft was temporarily taken out of service for a thorough inspection. It suffered "minimal damage," Ms Crabtree said.

There were at least 17 instances in which batteries smoked or caught fire on US airlines or air-cargo haulers in 2015, according to records kept by the FAA. Another three cases occurred this year through January 15, the most recent date for which data was collected.

All but one of those cases involved lithium-based cells. The Galaxy Note 7 batteries are rechargeable lithium-ion.

Source ; HKSG.

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