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TMCnet Feature

February 03, 2014

iPhone Bursts into Flames in 13-Year-Old's Pocket


An iPhone has exploded inside the pocket of a 13-year-old student from Maine, inflicting first and second degree burns on the girl, whose name has been withheld due to her being a minor. Reports state that the student was sitting in class when she heard a strange noise from her pocket and noticed smoke coming from her pants.

The girl was assisted by two classmates who helped her put out the fire. She was later treated for her injuries and has since been released from a local treatment center. While the cause of the explosion is currently unknown, the incident resembles a situation from 2011 in which an iPhone burst into flames while on a flight. Furthermore, iPod Touch devices have also been reported catching fire on flights in the U.K., Holland, Sweden and France.

These types of incidents are quite rare, so Apple likely shouldn’t be too concerned with any resulting uproar. Although, no nation is quite as indignant over such issues as the United States, and so the plight of a 13-year-old Maine resident may very well pull at the heartstrings of the American public.

This situation also brings to mind some of the inherent dangers involved in wearable tech. What if instead of inside a pants pocket, the device that exploded was on one’s wrist a la a smart watch or attached to one’s face, as with Google Glass? Accidents happen all of the time: A car can fall apart while you’re driving on the highway, lightning can strike you while you’re walking down the street. What each person ultimately needs to decide is how much risk we are each willing to take on in the name of convenience.




Edited by Blaise McNamee

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