U.S. aviation safety officials took the extraordinary step late Thursday of warning airline passengers not to turn on or charge a new-model Samsung smartphone during flights following numerous reports of the devices catching fire.
The Federal Aviation Administration also warned passengers not to put the Galaxy Note 7 phones in their checked bags, citing “recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung” about the devices. It is extremely unusual for the FAA to warn passengers about a specific product.
Last week, Samsung ordered a global recall of the jumbo phones after its investigation of explosion reports found the rechargeable lithium batteries were at fault. In one case, a family in St. Petersburg, Florida, reported a Galaxy Note 7 phone left charging in their Jeep caught fire, destroying the vehicle.
Australian airline companies were among the first to take measures. Qantas has asked passengers not to switch the Note 7 devices on and not to charge them during flights, its spokeswoman Sharna Rhys-Jones said. Media reports said other Australian airlines took a similar step, including Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia.
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