Earlier this morning a Southwest Airlines flight about to head out of Louisville was evacuated as a passenger’s Galaxy Note 7 caught fire. Unfortunately for Samsung, that Note 7 was one that it had already been replaced with a supposedly “safe” unit…
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The Verge got in touch with the Note 7 owner, Brian Green, who confirmed that the device was a replacement unit from his local AT&T store on September 21st. He said the device had a green battery icon and, as proof it was a replacement, the box it came in apparently even showed the black box indicator that distinguishes a recalled Note 7 from a new one.
It’s also unclear what caused the explosion, seeing that the device was not plugged in and had just been turned off by request from the flight crew.
After powering down the device, Green put it in his pocket to discover moments later that the device was smoking. He quickly dropped it to the floor where, as he describes, a “thick grey-green angry smoke” started coming out of the phone. At that point flight crew quickly evacuated the aircraft. Later a passenger went back on the plane to retrieve his belongings and stated that the device had burned through the carpet of the plane and scorched the subfloor of the plane.
Samsung has already been contacted about the incident but has yet to comment about it. Currently, the phone lies in the hands of the local fire department’s arson unit for investigation. As for Green, he’s already replaced it with an iPhone 7.
What does all this mean for Samsung? Well, nothing good. Despite the repercussions of the Note 7 recall, Samsung has handled things fairly well with customer safety being first priority. It’s unclear if this incident was due to the same issue as seen on recalled Note 7s, but we’ll have to wait and see if this becomes a trend. As of right now, there’s probably nothing to worry about.