Loose screw blamed for smoking iPhone

A loose screw was to blame for an iPhone that started to emit black smoke on a domestic flight in Australia last year, an investigation has found
Written by Luke Hopewell, Contributor on

An investigation into an Apple iPhone that started spewing black smoke on a Regional Express (REX) flight last year has revealed the reason for the incident, and led to renewed warnings about the carriage of lithium batteries onto planes.

iPhone fire

The iPhone that caught fire. Image credit: REX/ATSB

Flight crew on a trip from Lismore to Sydney last November noticed that black smoke had begun erupting from an iPhone, which had to be quickly put out with a fire extinguisher.

The phone was sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as part of an investigation into the matter, which has now revealed that a misplaced screw punctured the battery casing, leading to a short circuit that caused the battery to overheat.

The screw that caused the issue was the result of a botched screen-replacement job from a non-authorised service centre. 

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Airborne, smoking iPhone mishap solved on ZDNet Australia.

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