When your phone blows up on Valentine’s Day, it’s usually a good problem to have. But when that problem moves from the figurative to the literal, it gives you third-degree burns and puts you in the hospital for 10 days. That’s what happened to a man on Long Island when his iPhone 5c exploded in his pocket.
Erik Johnson was leaving his cousin’s wake in New Jersey on Valentine’s Day and bent over to get his keys when his iPhone exploded in his front left leg pocket.
“I had the phone in my pocket, simple little gesture, bent over to get keys and all I heard was pop. Sssssh smoke coming out,” Johnson told WABC-TV New York. “And just like an instant burn, my leg just starts going on fire, try to get it out, can’t get it out. I was literally jumping up and down trying to get the phone out of my pocket, but I think the phone melted my pockets shut so I couldn’t get into it and I had to rip my pants off and throw the pants to the side. A couple of people actually said they could smell my body burning.”
He had second- and third-degree burns on his inner thigh, which put him in the burn unit for 10 days. Johnson’s iPhone 5c shows clear damage on the front and the metal case is warped on the back and stuck to the phone.
Third-party chargers are known to make iPhones unstable, but Johnson was using an Apple cable for his phone. His attorney says they’re considering filing a lawsuit against Apple.
Last month, an eighth-grader in Maine suffered second-degree burns to her thigh and back when her iPhone 5c caught fire in her back pocket.