Samsung Galaxy A21 Catches Fire In-Flight, Forces Evacuation of Passengers in Seattle: Report

A Samsung Galaxy A21 handset reportedly caught on fire on an Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle. This incident caused the entire flight to be evacuated. Local reports say that the phone was burned beyond recognition, but an airport spokesperson reportedly confirmed the handset to be Galaxy A21. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. The fire broke out after the flight landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, forcing the crew to deploy evacuation slides to get everyone off. The crew on Flight 751 reportedly used fire extinguishers and a battery containment bag to stop the phone from smoking.

Seattle Times reports that a spokesperson for the Port of Seattle, Perry Cooper confirmed the phone that caught on fire on the Alaska Airlines flight was a Samsung Galaxy A21 model. In an email, Cooper confirmed to the publication, “After much digging, I can tell you that the phone was burned beyond recognition. However, during an interview with one of our Port of Seattle Police officers, the passenger volunteered the phone was a Samsung Galaxy A21. Again, we could not confirm it by looking at the remains of the device.”

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When the fire broke out, the crew reportedly tried to contain the smoke using a battery containment bag. But the amount of smoke reportedly forced the deployment of evacuation slides. Over 128 passengers and crew members were transported by bus to the terminal of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The airport tweeted that some minor injuries and bruises were reported. The Alaska Airlines aircraft was towed to a gate and there were no impacts to airport operations.

This isn’t the first time that Samsung has come under the radar for its phones exploding and catching fire. There was a recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 after several reports of explosions were reported from many parts of the world. In April, an alleged Samsung phone kept inside a man’s bag suddenly caught fire in China. His hair, arm, and eyelashes got singed. The man claimed it was a Samsung phone that he had bought in 2016. He also said that the phone’s battery wasn’t changed and it was not under charging when it burst into flames.

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Are the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 still made for enthusiasts — or are they good enough for everyone? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.
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