Replacement Galaxy Note 7 ignores Southwest's 'No Smoking' signs

Apparently Samsung's airplane mode sometimes may involve burning through the plane's carpet.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
2 min read
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Seventy-five passengers and crew members were evacuated from a Southwest flight headed to Baltimore.

Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

A Southwest Airlines flight at Louisville International Airport was evacuated Wednesday because of a smoking Samsung device, according to Louisville Metro Arson investigators.

Witnesses told WAVE 3 News it was a Galaxy Note 7 that burned through the carpet in the airplane. Smoke from the device seeped into the cockpit, leading to the evacuation.

Sarah Green told the The Courier-Journal of Louisville that her husband, Brian, was waiting for the flight to take off when his Galaxy Note 7 overheated. The phone was a replacement Galaxy Note 7, said Green.

"He said he had just powered it down, when it made a popping noise and started smoking," Green told the Courier-Journal. "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground."

Samsung said it's working with authorities and Southwest to recover the device and confirm the cause, but expressed skepticism that it involved a new Note 7.

"There is no evidence that this incident is related to the new Note 7 [which replaced the defective original units]," said a Samsung representative.

Last month, Samsung recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices worldwide after a battery flaw caused a small number of the phones to explode or burst into flames. As of September 22, Samsung said half of the 1 million defective devices sold in the US had been returned.

In September, the FAA issued a safety advisory reminding airlines and passengers that federal regulations prohibit transporting lithium-ion batteries that are defective or have been recalled, as in the case of the original Galaxy Note 7.

The Southwest flight was still on the ground before heading to Baltimore on Wednesday when the Samsung device malfunctioned. "All customers and crew deplaned safely via the main cabin door," according to an official statement from Southwest Airlines.

First published October 5, 9:15 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:16 a.m. PT: Adds information on the Samsung device involved.