Samsung Smartphone Battery Catches Fire, Injures Owner

A battery of a 2011 Samsung Galaxy Note model recently exploded in its owner's pocket, with the man  suffering burns.

He was walking around with the Samsung device in his pocket when the battery caught on fire. The man received second-degree burns and a one-inch wound on his thigh. Officials stated that the battery was not  inside the phone when it exploded.

The incident itself took place in South Korea. A local newspaper said the battery was from the original Galaxy Note, but the Associated Press stressed that it remains unconfirmed.

The AP said the incident marks the second time during the last year when a Samsung battery has caught fire in South Korea. The company, however, confirmed that it won't be planning an investigation.

While they're quick in terms of charging, lithium-ion batteries have been known to malfunction due to heat. Last year, a phone battery caught fire in a man's back pants pocket at Defcon, while a man was killed in 2009 as an exploding phone severed his neck artery.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has been grounded until 2014 because of on-board fires stemming from lithium-ion batteries. Lenovo, Nokia, Dell, Apple, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi and Fujitsu have previously pulled products from retail stores due to overheating batteries.

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  • punahou1
    I never had these problems with my Motorolla brick...
  • bucknutty
    What else was in his pocket at the time? I can make any battery catch fire or explode with a bit of steel wool and some pocket lint.
  • tokencode
    Wow, a guy was killed by his smart phone? I might start using a Bluetooth....
  • catfishtx
    Why was the battery not in the phone? If it indeed was not and there was also loose change in the pocket, that could definitely lead to a situation where the battery fails if coins managed to touch the battery terminals.
  • NightLight
    probably loose change or keys.
  • A10K
    It shouldn't be a simple matter of shorting; the dangers of lithium-ion batteries are well known and as a result most battery packs incorporate a protection controller that automatically shuts down the pack if discharge exceeds a certain current (preventing an extended short). It also prevents overcharge and over-discharge, and overheating. Its put inline with the terminals. This is probably a case with a faulty protection PCB, or one that was poorly implemented.
  • digiex
    Samsung Smartphone Battery Catches Fire,

    So does the Boeing 787 Dreamliner... so?
  • jaber2
  • robochump
    I agree, most likely change in the pocket interacted with the battery to cause a short and poof! As for the battery not being in the phone, was the battery dislodged while walking? Like the battery cover popped off? Guess I will have to read elsewhere for more details.
  • nukemaster
    bucknuttyWhat else was in his pocket at the time? I can make any battery catch fire or explode with a bit of steel wool and some pocket lint.ahh steel wool + 9 volt battery = nice little fire.