Laptops don’t explode much. When they do, it’s usually rather on the spectacular side. Rather spectacular, therefore, were the scenes in the London office of an unnamed marketing company the other day, when an Apple Powerbook went KABOOM.
First, it started smoking, and the laptop’s user called the IT manager. It stopped, and he picked it up, but when he put it back down again it suddenly went BANG, caught fire and started shooting sparks everywhere. After evacuating the office, he returned to the laptop to find six-foot flames shooting out of it. He hit the fire alarm, and legged it.
After a fire marshall showed up, he used most of a fire extinguisher on the burning wreck, which calmed it down temporarily, but as soon as he stopped, it started flaming again, just as vigorously as before, with the inside red hot and glowing. They then waited for the fire department to show up.
Apple is checking the serial number to see whether it was part of the series whose batteries were recalled a few years back. If not, it could prompt another recall, but it’s just as well that this was in an office. In an empty flat, or a car or plane, things could have been a lot worse.
(via the Inquirer, who have plenty of good pictures)
A man in his twenties in Guangzhou, China, has died after an exploding mobile phone severed an artery in his neck. He’d just replaced the battery after charging it. It’s unclear what make or model the phone was, or if it was a dodgy third-party battery, but police are investigating.
Amazingly, it’s the ninth recorded death by exploding phone in China since 2002. One man died when his battery overheated due to the heat of an iron mill he worked at and blew a hole in his chest. Since this incident however, newspapers have published advice on how to avoid mobile phone explosions that I think we can all take on board. Click through to see them over the jump.