If you are the type who keeps your phone in your pants pocket, you should tread with caution. Be it an Android or an iPhone, chances are that at some point you might become a victim of smartphone explosion.
A case in point is a young mountain biker who recently suffered third degree burns on his right thigh when his Apple iPhone exploded in his back pocket. The 36-year-old victim, Gareth Clear, is an avid mountain biker and he has been using smartphones for years.
According to a report by LBC, the incident took place when Gareth took a tumble during a ride around Australia’s Manly Dam.
“I fell to the side on my bike, the phone was in a rear pocket… I looked at my right hand side and I just saw smoke coming from the back of my shorts. There was this intense heat generated from my pocket… it melted through my shorts and gave me third degree burns in the upper right hand side of my thigh,” Gareth said.
The iPhone, which was in his back pocket, caught fire when Gareth fell on it. “I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket and I was completely bewildered about what it was and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The cyclist punched the phone in an effort to dislodge it from his leg. The phone emitted a “metallic bang,” he said.
“I suddenly saw this incredible plume of smoke,” Gareth told the Daily Mail. “And there was a searing pain that went along with it — as though someone had pushed a huge block of ice against my leg. The phone was stuck to my leg having melted through both my shorts and my Skins. It had to have been more than 100 degrees.
“It’s a bit random. 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,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“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,” Gareth said.
Fortunately, Gareth managed to walk back to town where he was admitted to Royal North Shore hospital to receive a skin graft.
“Every iPhone is the same. If it happens to one, it will happen to another one. I was just lucky I was wearing pretty thick clothing and it was on my lower body. It could hurt someone else much more than it did me.”
Ever since the fiery accident, Gareth has taken to Twitter to and has been tweeting about the dangers of lithium ion batteries, which can cause phones to explode when they overheat, short-circuit, or take impact.
As per a report by CNET, Gareth has spoken to Apple officials about the incident. He is keen to find out what made the phone explode. “The more pervasive these are in our lives and the more people use them with a lack of apprehension that something might go wrong, the more that these things will happen. I want Apple to investigate, find out what was the cause and we need to educate people about this.”
A similar incident took place last year, reported the Daily Mail. Last February, a man suffered third-degree burns after his iPhone 5C exploded in his pocket. The victim, Erik Johnson, a resident of Long Island, had to spend ten days at a specialist burns unit after the exploded iPhone melted through his trousers and stuck to his skin on Valentine’s Day.
Erik said the iPhone exploded while he was bending over to get keys. According to experts, phones can explode if their circuit boards are damaged or a different charger is used. However, in the case of Johnson, he insisted that he was using the right charger.
Likewise, a couple of years ago, a Swiss teenager suffered second and third degree burns when her phone apparently exploded in her pocket.
According to Daily Mail, Fanny Schlatter, 18, was injured when the Samsung Galaxy S3 allegedly blew up in her trouser pocket.
Be wary when put your smart gadget in your back pocket, for there are chances that your phone may explode.
[Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP Images]