October 6, 2016 — A Southwest Airlines flight was evacuated after a replacement Samsung Note7 phone overheated and started smoking in a passenger’s pocket during the safety demonstration before takeoff.
Southwest Flight 994 was at the gate in Louisville en route to Baltimore. Smoke was reported in the cabin at 9:15 a.m., according to an airport spokesperson.
The phone belonged to Brian Green, who said he powered down his Samsung Galaxy Note7 and put it in his pocket when it started smoking. He threw it on the floor and it burned a hole in the carpet. No one was injured.
He told The Verge that the phone was a new Galaxy Note7 he got an AT&T store on September 21. It was at 80% battery capacity and had only been charged using a wireless charger.
Samsung said it could not confirm that the incident involved a new Note7 until it examined the phone.
Samsung offered replacements after recalling 2.5 million Note7 smartphones in September. The company received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the United States, including 26 reports of burns and 55 cases of property damage.
No airlines have banned the Note7, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it “strongly advises” not using or charging it on aircraft or stowing it in checked baggage. The batteries can cause explosions and fires that are extremely difficult to extinguish.
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