An Apple iPhone spontaneously burst into flame in a flight from Lismore to Sydney last Friday.
Passengers from the flight reported seeing black smoke in the cabin. The source was a passenger's iPhone 4. According to Regional Express, the iPhone began glowing red and emitting dense smoke on Regional Express Flight ZL319 to Sydney.
"In accordance with company standard safety procedures, the flight attendant carried out recovery actions immediately, and the red glow was extinguished successfully. All passengers and crew on-board were unharmed," REX said in a statement.
Regional Express has reported the incident to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for investigation. CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald that the ATSB will strip the involved iPhone 4 to pinpoint the cause of the fire. CASA had issued a warning about lithium batteries in-flight. Passengers are only allowed to carry two lithium batteries carried in separate bags to protect the terminals and battery from short circuiting.
Apple had emailed a statement to Fairfax media saying that the company was looking "forward to working with officials" to investigate the incident.
This is not the first incident of iPhones exploding or bursting into flames. In 2009 a French teenager claims to have been hit in the eye with flying glass after his girlfriend's iPhone made a hissing sound before the screen shattered. Another incident reported by Geekologie has a Dutch man's iPhone 3G spontaneously combusting in his car when he left in the passenger seat. When the man returned there was black smoke pouring from his car. iPhones aren't the only exploding Apple products. In March 2010 a mother sued Apple after her 10-year-old son suffered second degree burns when his iPod touch exploded in his pants' pocket.
Although the exact cause of these explosions is still unknown, some users have pointed to the new iOS 5 software as the culprit. There have been persistent problems with battery life with the upgraded iOS 5 software. Apple has released a software update to fix battery life issues with iOS 5 although customers are still complaining about the issue on Apple's online forum.
Exploding iPhones and iPods maybe rare cases but here are some precautions you can take to protect your iPhone from exploding:
Don't overcharge your iPhone
Avoid physical damage to the battery side of your iPhone
Don't leave your iPhone in a car in a day or in direct sunlight
If the iPhone temperature warning screen appears let the iPhone rest
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