DGCA summons Samsung officials after Note 2 phone catches fire on Chennai flight

DGCA to send an advisory to airlines to alert passengers about the risk of carrying Samsung Note devices, but the phones can be carried in a switched-off mode


Aviation regulator DGCA summons Samsung officials to meet on 26 September. Photo: Reuters
Aviation regulator DGCA summons Samsung officials to meet on 26 September. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: India’s aviation regulator has summoned officials of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd to appear before it on Monday after a Samsung phone caught fire on a Chennai-bound IndiGo flight in the first such incident on an Indian plane.

Some passengers travelling on the flight from Singapore to Chennai on Friday morning smelt smoke in the cabin and alerted the crew on board., IndiGo said in a statement.

The crew identified smoke coming out of an overhead bin and informed the flight commander, who alerted Air Traffic Control. The crew found that the smoke was being emitted by a Samsung Note 2 phone which was in the hand baggage of a passenger. The phone was dumped in a water-filled container in a lavatory. The aircraft made a normal landing at Chennai airport.

“This equipment (Samsung mobile) will be further examined by the departments,” the airline said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it had summoned Samsung officials on Monday to explain the incident. A spokesperson for the regulator said DGCA would send an advisory to airlines to alert passengers about the risk of carrying Samsung Note devices. The phones can be carried in a switched-off mode, the spokesman clarified.

A picture of the Note 2 phone issued by DGCA showed the mobile device completely charred.

“ We are aware of an incident involving one of our devices. At Samsung, customer safety is our highest priority. We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information, and are looking into the matter,” Samsung said in a statement.

Also Read: India bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights

Earlier this month, the DGCA had prohibited the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on board aircraft.

The Note 7 phone has been under scrutiny since it was recalled for having batteries that are at risk of catching fire and exploding.

The ministry has advised airlines and travellers not to turn on or charge the smartphone during flights. Passengers can carry them in their hand baggage in a switched-off mode.

“This has been done in light of several incidents globally, involving the battery of Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Passengers have also been advised not to stow them in their checked-in baggage,” the ministry said, a day after US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a similar warning. The Note 2 has not come under FAA scrutiny yet.

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