iPhone 6 Fire: Apple Will Investigate Smartphone Explosion That Burned Through Pants And Two Layers Of Skin, Says Victim

A British man was injured after his iPhone 6 exploded in his pants. The man insists the explosion not only burned his pants but scorched through two layers of skin.

Gareth Clear, a British citizen mountain biking in Sydney, certainly did not expect to get burned on his joyride. However, after he suffered a minor fall, the man alleges his iPhone 6 exploded and burned him. The man claims iPhone maker Apple has acknowledged the incident and agreed to investigate. Clear is now on a mission to raise awareness about the potential dangers of using such devices, especially while doing outdoor activities.

Bondi management consultant Gareth Clear claims his iPhone ignited after the 36-year-old took a small tumble during his mountain bike ride around Australia’s Manly Dam on Sunday afternoon. Clear notes he fell on the iPhone, which was kept in the back pocket of the biker’s shorts. Within seconds, the iPhone started emitting smoke and got extremely hot before exploding. Clear had bought the iPhone 6 about six months ago. The explosion not only burned a large hole clear through his shorts designed for outdoor activities but also seared two layers of skin on his upper right thigh.

“I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket…and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain. I felt a searing heat as the phone burnt through my riding shorts in a matter of seconds. I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus.”

Clear was admitted to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Owing to the severity of burns, doctors had to perform a skin graft surgery, reported the Daily Telegraph.

Clear had this to say about the freak accident.

“It’s a bit random, the thing to be very specific about, the phone did hit the ground, it didn’t just spontaneously combust. It was a one in one million chance I hit a part of the phone which pierced the lithium battery and it exploded.

“I’m 36. I’ve had a mobile phone for 18 years of my life and for that thing to explode or short circuit and cause it to temporarily ignite. I could see the metal bending and all the lithium leaking out of the bottom end.

“The base of the phone looks like something from a chemical explosion, but the top remains perfectly intact.”

Apple’s Australia-based office has not commented on the incident. However, it is understood they are speaking directly to Mr. Clear about the incident, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. Clear even posted a tweet explaining the incident but got a seemingly automated response from the iPhone maker.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the agency receives around one or two reports annually of consumer injuries resulting from mobile phones, and more particularly, the increasingly thin and potent batteries, shared an ACCC spokesperson.

“The decreasing size and slimness of portable devices coupled with consumer expectations about battery life are a challenge for battery manufacturers. Lithium batteries are vulnerable to significant physical impact, [which] may damage the extremely thin separators that keep the elements of the battery apart.”

Incidentally, the ACCC specifically cautions smartphone users not to store their devices in pockets during physical activities to avoid any kind of strong impact. However, Clear stresses that his fall was quite minor. The injuries, however, were anything but. The hospital that treated the burn victim, confirmed he had suffered from third-degree burns.

The batteries that power smartphones or even hoverboards have been known to explode once in a while. Such explosions are usually accompanied by dense smoke.

[Photo by Mike Clarke/Getty Images]