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An iPhone spontaneously combusts on an Australian Flight

exploded iphone 4It sounds like there is yet another reason power off your cell phone on your next flight. Australian airline Regional Express issued a press release stating an incident involving an exploding iPhone. No one on the flight was harmed during the event that involved lots of smoke and a red glow.

Shortly after the regional flight from Lismore to Sydney landed, a passenger’s cell phone started “emitting a significant amount of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow.” The report states that the flight attendant extinguished the red glow successfully, which implies that the glow was actually a fire, but there is no note of an open flame. A picture of the phone has been included, and it is indeed an iPhone 4.

The phone pictured appears to not only have some fire damage, but also had some damage to the back glass. Now it’s not clear how much damage was caused by the combustion, or by the flight attendant extinguishing the phone. While there may be a list of problems users of the iPhone 4 have complained about, explosion is not on the list but this isn’t the first report of an Apple iDevice exploding.

The phone in question has been given to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for analysis. While it seems unlikely that an undamaged phone would randomly explode, it is possible, and the fact that the airline issued the press release and it didn’t come from a person seeking money from the company helps us believe the story. We have heard about an exploding Motorola Droid 2  before, but no one was hurt.