A passenger Samsung Galaxy A21
The passenger phone “overheated and began to sparkle” after the plane from New Orleans landed on Monday night, a spokesman for Alaska Airlines told the Associated Press. Perry Cooper, a spokesman for the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, said the device was determined to be a Samsung Galaxy A21.
“After much digging, I can tell you that the phone was burned without recognition,” Cooper said in an email. “However, during an interview with one of our Port of Seattle police officers, the passenger volunteered that the phone was a Samsung Galaxy A21. Again, we could not confirm it by looking at the remains of the device.”
The Port of Seattle said in a series of tweets Monday night that 128 passengers and six crew members were transported by bus to the terminal. There were no serious injuries related to the fire, the agency said.
A Samsung spokesman said the company was aware of the situation and was “conducting a thorough investigation.”
Galaxy A21, unveiled in April 2020, has a 4000 mAh battery.
Alaska Airlines did not respond to a request for comment.
The incident is reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 7 nightmare Samsung experienced five years ago. In 2016, the Korean electronics giant recalled the device twice before finally shutting it down after a battery failure caused dozens of phones to explode or catch fire.
Some of the original batteries were found to have been incorrectly constructed and slightly pinched, while some of the replacements lacked insulating tape and / or had sharp pieces of metal that stopped through the coating. To avoid future problems, the company set up an eight-point battery inspection process.