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Samsung Galaxy A21 catches fire on plane after landing

The incident forced passengers to be evacuated on the aircraft's emergency slides.

galaxy-a21-s
The Samsung Galaxy A21 was introduced in 2020.
Samsung

A passenger's Samsung Galaxy A21 caught fire Monday inside the cabin of an Alaska Airlines flight after landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, forcing the crew to deploy the aircraft's evacuation slides to remove the flight's occupants.

The passenger's phone "overheated and began sparking" after the flight from New Orleans landed Monday evening, an Alaska Airlines spokesperson told the Associated Press. Perry Cooper, a spokesman for the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, said the device was determined to be a Samsung Galaxy A21.

"After much digging, I can tell you that the phone was burned beyond recognition," Cooper said in an email.  "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."

The Port of Seattle said in a series of tweets Monday evening that 128 passengers and six crew members were transported by bus to the terminal. There were no serious injuries associated with the fire, the agency said.

A Samsung spokesperson said the company is aware of the situation and "conducting a thorough investigation."

The Galaxy A21, unveiled in April 2020, features a 4,000-mAh battery.

Alaska Airlines didn't respond to a request for comment.

The incident is reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 7 nightmare Samsung experienced five years ago. In 2016, the Korean electronics giant recalled the device twice before eventually discontinuing it after a battery flaw caused dozens of the phones to explode or burst into flames.

Some of the original batteries were found to have been constructed improperly and gotten a little squished, while some of the replacements were missing insulation tape and/or had sharp metal bits that punched through coverings. To avoid future problems, the company created an eight-point inspection process for its batteries.