What you need to know
- A Samsung Galaxy A21 caught fire inside the cabin of an Alaska Airlines flight after it landed in Seattle.
- The phone was reportedly burned beyond recognition.
- Two passengers, who received minor injuries, were treated at a local hospital.
An Alaska Airlines flight that landed in Seattle Monday evening from New Orleans had to be evacuated after a passenger's Samsung Galaxy A21 phone caught fire inside the cabin. According to The Seattle Times, the phone was burned beyond recognition.
The flight crew extinguished the fire using a battery containment bag, but passengers had to be evacuated from the plane via evacuation slides due to the smoke. Port of Seattle transported 128 passengers and six crew members to the terminal by bus. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, and the incident had no impact on airport operations. Some passengers with minor scrapes and bruises were treated at a local hospital.
Since the Galaxy A21 has been on the market for more than a year and no similar incidents of the phone catching fire have been reported, it doesn't look like a manufacturing defect was the cause of the fire. Ever since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung has significantly improved its safety standards, and all new Galaxy phones go through an 8-point battery safety check.
As noted by The Verge, isolated incidents of phone batteries catching fire aren't extremely rare. In October last year, an Apple iPhone XR caught fire aboard a British Airways flight from Miami to Heathrow after being trapped in the seat mechanism.
More recently, a new OnePlus Nord 2 phone's battery exploded just days after purchase. Shortly after, OnePlus issued an official statement saying that the damages were caused by "an isolated incident involving external factors and not due to manufacturing issues." Some of Xiaomi's best cheap Android phones have also been reported to have spontaneously caught fire in the recent past.
Android Central has reached out to Samsung for a comment on the incident.