iPhone 6 explosion leaves man with third-degree burns

A Sydney cyclist required a skin graft after a minor fall caused his iPhone to "explode" in his pocket.

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Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
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Gareth Clear, a 36-year-old management consultant from Sydney, Australia, was severely burned by his iPhone 6 after he fell off his bicycle on Sunday.

The phone, which was in Clear's back pocket, caught fire when Clear fell on it. "I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket and I was completely bewildered about what it was and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The "explosion" resulted in third-degree burns to Clear's right thigh, which required skin grafts.

He has since taken to Twitter to try and spread the message about the dangers of lithium ion batteries, which can explode when they overheat, short-circuit or take impact. According to Dan Doughty of Battery Safety Consulting, lithium-ion batteries fail at a rate of around one in 10 million. With a production rate of around 6 billion batteries per year, that works out to an average of 600 failures annually.

Clear has spoken with Apple about his injury, and now wants to share his story. "The more pervasive these are in our lives and the more people use them with a lack of apprehension that something might go wrong, the more that these things will happen," he said. "I want Apple to investigate, find out what was the cause and we need to educate people about this."

Neither Apple nor Clear immediately responded to a request for comment.