iPhone 6 explodes in a Sydney biker’s pockets, leaves him with third-degree burns
We have heard stories of how smartphones have exploded while charging or regular usage or due to overheating of battery or some hardware defect. Recently, we had reported how a Xiaomi Mi4i smartphone exploded while it was charging. Now, there is one more company to join that list, which is none other than Apple’s iPhone 6.
In a recent incident, a Sydney bicycle rider suffered third degree burns from his exploding iPhone. Bondi management consultant Gareth Clear, 36, who was mountain biking by himself on Sunday afternoon in Manly Dam fell off his bike along with his iPhone.
When he got up after the minor fall, the iPhone in his back pocket ignited and he saw smoke coming from his behind.
“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 said.
Clear said he heard a “snap” and felt a “searing heat” on the right side of his butt as the iPhone burnt through his riding shorts in a matter of seconds.
He saw that his biking shorts and clothing underneath were melting, causing his iPhone to stick to his leg. “It had to have been more than 100 degrees,” Clear said.
He tried to remove it but burnt his fingers, before struggling to take off his “boiling” shorts. He was finally able to get the iPhone off when he punched it.
“I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus,” he said.
“I just saw the phone on the floor and it was kind of contorting and all this kind of battery goo was just coming out the bottom of the phone near the power socket and it was kind of moving.”
The incident occurred when Clear’s foot slipped on the bike pedal as he was about to start moving, causing him to lose his balance and fall on his bottom.
Clear borrowed a mobile phone and went to Manly Hospital before being immediately transferred to the burns unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital.
His upper right thigh was so severely burnt that he was forced to undergo skin graft surgery at the burns unit of the Royal North Shore Hospital.
Clear has been hooked up to a machine to prevent infection, but expects it will take weeks to recover.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
He posted a picture of his injury on his Twitter account, and received a “mechanical” response from Apple before an employee tried to call him.
“I want Apple to investigate, find out what was the cause and we need to educate people about this.”
Clear said that henceforth he won’t be taking his iPhone while biking. He called it a “mini bomb” and a “tragedy waiting to happen.”
However, he did not blame Apple for his injury, and wanted to raise awareness about the possible dangers of iPhones.
“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” he said.