Replacement Galaxy Note 7 starts smoking, leads to plane evacuation

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Update: Samsung has now told TechRadar it is investigating the incident of a Galaxy Note 7 catching fire on a Southwest Airlines flight.

A spokesperson for Samsung said, "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."

Original: Samsung can't catch a break. This time, a Southwest Airlines flight was evacuated when a passenger's Galaxy Note 7 caught fire prior to takeoff, as first reported by The Verge.

Worryingly, the Southwest passenger claims the phone was a unit that was replaced by Samsung via the device's recall.

The passenger, Brian Green, told the site that his Note 7 was deemed safe by Samsung, pointing to a black square symbol on his phone's packaging and green battery icon on the phone. The green battery icon is supposed to indicate replaced Note 7s. Green said he picked up the replacement phone at an AT&T store on September 21, the first day fixed phones arrived in stores.

Southwest confirmed to TechRadar a smoking Samsung device led to the airplane evacuation, but did not state what model phone it was. However, Green took a photo of the burnt phone, which was indeed a Galaxy Note 7.

"Prior to Southwest Airlines Flight 994 departing from Louisville for Baltimore, a Customer reported smoke emitting from an electronic device," reads the airline's statement sent to us. "All Customers and Crew deplaned safely via the main cabin door."

Southwest says it will continue to make PA announcements about the active Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall prior to each flight.

Burned Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Photo credit: Brian Green via The Verge

It's unclear exactly why the Note 7 caught fire, if it was indeed a replacement phone. It's possible the phone could have been physically damaged, which could cause the phone's battery to rupture and explode. We've asked Samsung for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

Other phones, like the iPhone 7, aren't immune to battery explosions. On September 29, a reddit user's iPhone 7 allegedly exploded in its packaging. It's unclear what caused the combustion, but Apple and AT&T took care of the owner by expediting him a replacement phone. Just two days ago, an iPhone 6 Plus exploded in someone's back pocket.

To make matters worse for Samsung, Green replaced his Galaxy Note 7 with an iPhone 7.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.