Samsung Galaxy Note 7 starts smoking on board, prompting evacuation of US plane
Picture for representation Reuters

A Southwest Airlines jet, preparing to take off from the Louisville airport, was evacuated on 5 October after an overheated Samsung smartphone started emitting smoke.

According to the Courier-Journal of Louisville, an Indiana woman reportedly said that her husband's Galaxy Note 7 started making crackling noises and smoke came out from the phone just before the takeoff. The woman also said that the phone was given to her husband as a replacement for his recalled unit.

However, Southwest and federal aviation-safety officials refused to reveal what model of Samsung phone was it was, saying they were still investigating.

This incident accelerated trouble for Samsung which has been facing backlash for frequent overheating batteries of its new Galaxy Note 7 devices, which was recalled last month after 92 such cases were reported.

In several instances, the overheating device has also caused burns and injury and damaged property.

According to the Associate Press, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asked passengers not to show the Samsung devices in check luggage and refrain from charging or using them while on board. Many airlines also added warnings about the Samsung device to their pre-flight safety demonstrations.

Samsung Electronics Co, in an official statement, said that they are working with authorities to recover the phone and investigate the cause of overheating. The company also refused to comment on whether the device was a new Note 7.

On 25 September, Indian airline IndiGo reported a Samsung Note 2 phone emitting smoke and sparks on a flight from Singapore to southern India.

The crew used a fire extinguisher on the phone that was found in a passenger's bag in an overhead compartment after other passengers alerted the crew of a burning smell.

The company said that it is already investigating the incident in India involving the old model of the Note series that involves a replaceable battery. "We are in touch with local authorities to gather more information and investigate whether there were any external factors involved," said Samsung, as reported by the news agency.

The Galaxy Note 7 phones which retail for $850 to $890 is a major player in the smartphone business with Samsung dominating the market for Android phones.