Australian air safety bureau probes smoking iPhone

Nov 29, 2011

Australia's aviation safety watchdog said Tuesday it was investigating after an Apple iPhone apparently began glowing red and emitting smoke after a flight to Sydney last week.

Australian carrier Regional Express (Rex) said a passenger's mobile "started emitting a significant amount of , accompanied by a red glow" after the plane touched down from the city of Lismore on Friday.

"We are investigating, it's quite early on in the investigation," a spokesman for the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB) told AFP Tuesday.

"However, we do have the phone, it's in our custody, and we will be undertaking a technical examination of it.

"We will be interviewing directly involved parties and also in our technical examination of the phone we are going to be consulting with the manufacturer as well."

Regional Express said a flight attendant had extinguished the red glow in line with standard procedure and no-one had been injured in the incident which has also been reported to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

"The mobile phone in question appears to be an ," it said.

Apple, which has sold millions of iPhones around the world, said it was looking forward to working with investigators.

The ATSB spokesman was unable to say what model of the wildly successful Apple had prompted the investigation but said the probe was unusual.

"We have no previous records of iPhones undergoing spontaneous self-ignition," he said.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said one of the authority's engineers would attend when ATSB experts dismantled the phone. He also said he was unaware of any such incidents occurring before.

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