There had been fears around this, and it has finally happened. A Samsung device has caught fire in an Indigo aircraft plying the-Singapore-Chennai route. The crew used a fire extinguisher to put out the sparks. No one was hurt in the incident.
Airlines around the world had been issuing advisories against using the Samsung Note 7 on airplanes. In India, SpiceJet had sent an email to all its registered users against carrying Samsung devices on airplanes, and other airlines had been making announcements during flights reminding passengers not to use the phone.
In this particular incident, passengers on board the Indigo flight noticed the smell of smoke in the cabin, and alerted the crew. “The crew quickly identified minor smoke coming from the hat-rack of seat 23 C. Taking the precautionary measure, the cabin crew on priority relocated all passengers on other seats, and further observed smoke being emitted from a Samsung Note 2, which was placed in the baggage (of a passenger) in the overhead bin. There was no fire observed but sparks were observed,” the company said in a statement.
The crew then discharged the fire extinguisher, and transferred the Samsung note 2 into a container filled with water in lavatory. The aircraft made a normal landing at Chennai airport. Authorities are now examining the phone.
While the device in question wasn’t the now-infamous Note 7, this comes as further bad news for the Korean giant. There have been more than 35 reported explosions of the Note 7 over the past month, and some have had severe consequences. An explosion in the US burned down a jeep, and one in Australia had damaged a hotel room. One had exploded in a 6 year old boy’s hand, causing burns.
Samsung has issued a worldwide recall of the phones, but the bad press has hurt – Samsung has lost over Rs. 1,50,000 crore in market value thanks to the explosions.