Scare as Samsung phone emits smoke on flight

NEW DELHI • A Samsung phone sparked alarm on an Indian flight yesterday when it emitted smoke, the airline said, weeks after the manufacturer recalled 2.5 million units of its latest model when batteries began catching fire during charging.

Airline IndiGo said it had dealt with an incident involving "minor smoke" coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note II device in a passenger's hand luggage on a flight from Singapore to the southern Indian city of Chennai.

The phone was not the same model as the one involved in the recall.

"IndiGo confirms that a few passengers travelling on 6E-054 from Singapore to Chennai noticed the smoke smell in the cabin this morning and immediately alerted the cabin crew on board," the airline said in a statement. "(The crew) observed smoke being emitted from the Samsung Note 2 (sic), which was placed in the baggage (of a passenger) in the overhead bin."

The crew used a fire extinguisher before submerging the phone in water and the plane made a normal landing.

The world's largest maker of mobile phones recalled 2.5 million units of its top-of-the-range Note7 model after incidents of batteries catching fire during charging.

The recall has put fresh pressure on Samsung Electronics, which is already squeezed by competition from Apple and Chinese rivals.

Samsung said yesterday it was aware of an incident involving one of its devices. "We are in touch with the relevant authorities to gather more information, and are looking into the matter," a spokesman said.

A spokesman for India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation said it would send out an advisory to airlines warning passengers to keep all Samsung Note smartphones switched off during the flight or avoid carrying the phones on commercial jets altogether.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Scare as Samsung phone emits smoke on flight'. Print Edition | Subscribe