A Samsung Note 2 phone caught fire mid-air inside an IndiGo Airbus A320 on a Singapore-to-Chennai flight on Friday morning.
Following this incident, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to extend its advisory restricting the use of Samsung Note phones on planes. The incident is occurring within a month of the DGCA and other foreign regulators cautioning passengers against the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handsets inside aircraft.
There were no injuries in Friday’s incident. IndiGo stated that a few passengers alerted the cabin crew after noticing smoke and an unusual smell inside the cabin. Upon checking, it was found that the smoke was coming from a mobile handset in a bag in the overhead bin. The cabin crew contained the smoke and transferred the handset to the lavatory in a container. “The aircraft made a normal landing at Chennai airport and all passengers deplaned as per normal procedure. This mobile handset will be further examined by the departments concerned. IndiGo has voluntarily informed the DGCA,” the airline said.
A Samsung spokesperson said, “We are aware of an incident involving one of our devices. At Samsung, customer safety is our highest priority. We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information, and are looking into the matter.”
Earlier this month, DGCA had asked passengers not to charge or switch on Galaxy Note 7 devices onboard aircraft. The advisory issued to airlines and passenger said in light of recent incidents involving battery issues with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices globally, travelling public and airlines are advised not to turn on or charge the mobile phone while onboard an aircraft." It also prohibited carrying it in checked-in baggage. A passenger can carry it in hand luggage in the switched-off mode.”
Samsung had decided to recall the product after such incidents were reported.