Southwest Airlines flight evacuated over smoking, popping Samsung Galaxy Note7

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 6 (UPI) — A Southwest Airlines flight preparing to depart for Baltimore was evacuated when a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the focus of a nationwide recall, began smoking and crackling, local fire officials said.

The phone’s owner, Brian Green, said the Galaxy Note was a replacement device after a global recall because of fire and burn hazards. His wife said they replaced his old Galaxy Note with the new one about two weeks ago and did not have problems until the Wednesday flight.

Samsung released the phone in August but issued a recall for about 2.5 million devices in early September after reports the defective battery was catching fire or exploding. Some airlines have banned the Galaxy Note from aircrafts. Southwest was not among them.

Green said he had just tucked the phone into his pocket as flight attendants were doing a safety briefing when he saw smoke. Louisville Metro Fire confirmed the account.

“Very quickly I got it out and threw it onto the floor of the plane,” he said. “It kept smoking for about 3 or 4 seconds pretty heavily after that. There was some lingering smoke after the fact.”

Some 75 passengers and crew were evacuated from the Boeing 737 about 9:15 a.m. No one was injured. Southwest Airlines said evacuated passengers were put on other flights for their final destinations.

“All customers and crew deplaned calmly and safely via the main cabin door,” the company said.

A Samsung representative said, “There is no evidence that this incident is related to the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause.”

In September, the Federal Aviation Administration warned passengers not use the device in the air because of concerns of it overheating and catching fire.

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