Flight grounded due to smoking Samsung cell phone

Southwest Flight evacuated after phone fire

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Flight plans for dozens of passengers have gone up in smoke all thanks to a cell phone.

A Southwest flight out of Louisville was stopped before it even left the ground after a passenger's cell phone starting smoking during takeoff.

Smelling smoke on a plane is scary enough, but New Albany businessman Brian Green had to think fast when he realized that smoke was coming from his pocket.

“Very quickly I got it out and threw it onto the floor of the plane,” said Green.  “It kept smoking for about 3 or 4 seconds pretty heavily after that.  There was some lingering smoke after the fact.”

“It was a little frantic,” said passenger Ta’Neka Lindsay.  “Everybody was trying to figure out what was going on at that point, and the next thing you hear is there’s smoke, there’s smoke.”

While Southwest crews were quickly getting passengers off the plane Green was trying to figure out how a phone he had only gotten after a recall two weeks ago could combust that easily.

“It has the green battery indicator when you turn it on,” said Green.  “The box had a black square on it that was supposed to indicate that this was a replacement phone or a known good battery cell phone.  It had been working good for me for the last two weeks.”

A Samsung spokesperson issued a statement saying “There is no evidence that this incident is related to the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause.”

However, Green’s fellow passengers stuck by his side despite the delays.
“It is what it is,” said Lindsay.  “I’m glad to be safe, and I’m very thankful that it happened while we were still here on the ground versus being in the air.”

“I’ve got an iPhone7 now,” said Green.  “I was happy with the phone.  I liked it because it had some nice features.  I wish it was a safer device.”
“Samsung needs to get their phones together,” said Lindsay.

Southwest has canceled the flight but is currently working with passengers to get them rebooked and onto their final destination.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released this statement on the incident:

“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.”


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