Smoke from Samsung device leads Southwest Airlines to evacuate plane

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last month after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Smoke that caused a plane to be evacuated at Louisville International Airport in Kentucky was caused by a Samsung device, a fire official said.

Louisville Metro Arson Capt. Kevin Fletcher told news outlets that the device overheated Wednesday morning and began to smoke, which led Southwest Airlines to evacuate the plane, which had been scheduled to depart for Baltimore.

Airport authority spokeswoman Natalie Chaudoin said 75 people, including crew members, were evacuated from the flight. She said no one was injured.

Fletcher said there was minor damage to the plane’s carpet where the device was dropped.


U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall last month of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage.

The Verge, a tech news site, reported that the Samsung device on the plane was a replacement Note 7 — that is, a phone that was supposed to lack the battery problem that caused other Note 7 phones to overheat and catch fire. According to the Verge, the phone’s owner, Brian Green, said he used to have a recalled Note 7 and picked up the replacement phone Sept. 21. 

Sarah Green of New Albany, Ind., was quoted by the Louisville Courier-Journal as saying that her husband, Brian, told her his Galaxy Note 7 made a popping noise and started smoking after he powered it down. She also said the phone had been replaced recently because of the recall.

Fire Capt. Sal Melendez said the device overheated during the flight crew’s safety demonstration. 


Samsung said in a statement that it’s working with authorities to recover the device and confirm the cause of the fire.


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2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Sarah Green and Fire Capt. Sal Melendez.


This article was originally published at 11:40 a.m.

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