A new report came from India where a Samsung Galaxy Note II caught fire and began to smoke up a passenger-filled cabin while in flight on an IndiGo plane. This caused India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to soon issue and advisory to encourage passengers to turn off all Samsung Galaxy Note devices before taking off.
”We advise flyers to exercise caution while flying with Samsung Note devices. They should either keep these devices switched off or not travel with them,”
In a statement, the airline said “A few passengers traveling on 6E-054 flight from Singapore to Chennai noticed the smoke smell in the cabin this morning… and immediately alerted the cabin crew on board,” Once notified, the crew reacted quickly and identified the smoke to come from an overhead bin around seat 23C of the aircraft. The crew used a fire extinguisher to put the crispy phone out of its flames, then placed the phone into a container of water.
It’s quite difficult to put the blame on Samsung for this very incident (before deep investigation, of course). The Galaxy Note II is a smartphone that came out in 2012, so the phone has to have been in operation for at least 3 years. With that in mind, the phone could have been using an old battery that became swollen. Batteries swell up when exposed to high temperatures during either operation or charging. The most common scenario is letting a phone charge under a pillow with no way to dissipate heat.
If your phone’s removable battery is noticeably swollen, it must be replaced immediately. These batteries increasingly pose a risk of shorting or igniting without warning.
It’s also possible the phone had a cheap, knock-off battery, which could have been the cause of the fire as well. All kinds of phones have the potential to catch fire. This was just really bad timing for Samsung.