Overheated Samsung phone causes Southwest plane evacuation

Southwest plane evacuated in Louisville due to smoke

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story said Brian Green's phone was a Galaxy S7 but it was later confirmed Green's phone was a Note7. 

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – A Southwest airplane was evacuated at the Louisville International Airport on Oct. 5.

An airport spokesperson said smoke was reported in the airplane’s cabin at 9:15 a.m. and no one was injured.

Louisville Metro Arson confirms a Samsung phone was the cause of the smoke. Officials said the phone overheated. 

The phone had some heat damage, but also singed the carpet of the plane; there was no real damage to the plane otherwise, according to Louisville Metro Arson. 

The airplane, Flight 994, was at the gate when this happened. The airplane's final destination was Baltimore. 

The passenger’s whose Samsung phone overheated on Flight 994 talked to WHAS11 about the situation.

Brian Green said he was powering his Samsung Galaxy Note7 down when it started smoking. He said it was a refurbished phone that was deemed safe.


Green said he threw his phone when it began to smoke and the flight crew then swiftly started to evacuate the plane.

He said he is in the process of getting a new phone after the incident.

WHAS11 talked to two passengers on Flight 994.


Passenger Rob Nentwig said he had just finished boarding the flight when he smelled smoke in the cabin. He said at that point a male passenger took a smoking Samsung cell phone out of his pocket and threw it.  Another passenger said that cell phone was so hot it actually burned a hole in the carpet.

Another passenger described what happened.

Taneka Lindsay, a Bellarmine Professor, said, “I saw the flight attendant go up to the front and there seemed to be some commotion and then the next thing that you know it was yelled out that it was smoke, and I turned around and I see smoke coming from a few seats behind me and at this point in time. Everyone is panicked because they don't know what's going on."

Southwest has canceled the flight and grounded the plane until an inspection can be completed.

Southwest said, “Customers will be accommodated on other Southwest flights to their final destinations.”

They said safety is their top priority and encourage their customers to comply with the FAA Pack Safe guidelines.

It is not known how many people were on board at the time of the incident.

A Samsung spokesperson released a statement on Wednesday afternoon that said the following:

“Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the incident.

The released the following statement:

“CPSC is moving expeditiously to investigate this incident. Thankfully, reports indicate that all of the passengers were able to make it off the plane without harm. Agency staff has already reached out to the FAA and Samsung to gather the facts about the incident.  Agency staff will also reach out to the consumer who experienced a serious incident with his phone. I want to reiterate my call for consumers who have the recalled Galaxy Note7 to keep their smartphones powered down and to immediately take advantage of the remedies being offered by Samsung. Consumers should know that one of the remedies is a refund.”     

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story said Brian Green's phone was a Galaxy S7 but it was later confirmed Green's phone was a Note7.

 

 

KREM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment