iPhone battery fire forces brief evacuation of Zurich Apple store

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 9
An Apple store in Zurich, Switzerland was temporarily evacuated on Tuesday after an iPhone's battery at the service desk overheated in the middle of a removal procedure, emitting smoke and burning the worker who was doing the work.




Besides the technician that burned his hand, in all seven people received medical help, Reuters reported. Local police noted that about 50 workers and customers had to leave the shop.

"The staff responded well and correctly," police added in a statement. "It sprinkled quartz sand over the overheated battery so that the smoke could be contained and sucked out after switching on the ventilation."

Forensic specialists were brought in to determine the cause of the fire. It's most likely the battery was damaged either by the owner prior to the service procedure or during the removal procedure, igniting the electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries from every manufacturer.

Apple recently admitted that it throttles the performance of iPhones with chemically depleted or damaged batteries to protect against sudden shutdowns that can damage electronics. Many people are likely taking advantage of $29 out-of-warranty battery replacements offered to appease the public.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 775member
    It's surprising that the situation got that far out of control. That battery must have went up in a quick blaze.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,222member
    linkman said:
    It's surprising that the situation got that far out of control. That battery must have went up in a quick blaze.
    Thats how batteries go up once they get oxygen into them. Just as Samsung. I believe that are part of the cause of the exploding Samsung batteries in the Note. 

    I'm sure this entire article will be spun into Apple now has iPhones with exploding batteries. Bring on ambulance chasers!
    edited January 9 jbdragonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,069member
    Zero detail, so let's just publish some attention-grabbing headlines to imply that the iPhone has a faulty batter, i.e. APPL is doomed.

    It happened during removal of the battery?  Did the technician slip and possibly short out the battery somehow?  Did the tech inadvertently damage/puncture/force-remove the battery causing it to pop?

    Have no idea, so what so-called "journalists" do nowadays, lets just be the first to publish the headlines, and fix it later.  We need the web clicks.

    /end-rant
    edited January 9 bonobobentropysStrangeDaysjony0jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,884member
    What does the last paragraph have to do with this story?
    bonobobdewmejony0adm1
  • Reply 5 of 16
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 102member
    lkrupp said:
    What does the last paragraph have to do with this story?
    It’s likely the battery was being replaced under the new program. 

    Also interestingly, one of the reasons that battery life can be shortened is damage to the battery. So it may not have been a defective battery or a careless technician but instead a battery with physical damage. 
    jas99muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,270member
    I’m sorry and apologize to AI in advance, but this paragraph by the author of this article is needlessly provoking chaos and crossing two totally unrelated negative narratives that nobody but the author has ever (ever!) brought to the discussion. Why fabricate a doubly negative narrative and even loosely speculate about a controversy that does not even exist? Sorry, but I have to throw the whiskey tango foxtrot flag on this one. 

    Apple recently admitted that it throttles the performance of iPhones with weak batteries —not to prevent fires, but nominally to protect against sudden shutdowns that could hurt electronics.”
    radarthekatjas99adm1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16

    "The staff responded well and correctly," police added in a statement. "It sprinkled quartz sand over the overheated battery so that the smoke could be contained and sucked out after switching on the ventilation."
    I hope they didn’t “sprinkle” the sand on it.  The container of sand weighs about 5 pounds and should have been completely dumped onto the battery, emptying all of the contents.  I’m doubt they were messing around with a battery fire.

    It’s interesting they evacuated the store.  Evacuating the Genius Room would be normal but the entire store seems extreme. Maybe local laws have something to do with it.

    ”Sprinkle” makes it sound like they were decorating cookies.
    anton zuykovradarthekatbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    sflocal said:
    Zero detail, so let's just publish some attention-grabbing headlines to imply that the iPhone has a faulty batter, i.e. APPL is doomed.

    It happened during removal of the battery?  Did the technician slip and possibly short out the battery somehow?  Did the tech inadvertently damage/puncture/force-remove the battery causing it to pop?

    Have no idea, so what so-called "journalists" do nowadays, lets just be the first to publish the headlines, and fix it later.  We need the web clicks.

    /end-rant
    Indeed, but what’s also missing here, is whether this was a genuine Apple battery in the device, or if it was a cheapoo third-party junk battery...


    Good point. 
    jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    So,  the technician was likely not executing the battery removal procedure properly, damaged the battery enough for it to short-circuit internally, overheat and thermally run away. Am I missing something?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,549member
    dewme said:
    I’m sorry and apologize to AI in advance, but this paragraph by the author of this article is needlessly provoking chaos and crossing two totally unrelated negative narratives that nobody but the author has ever (ever!) brought to the discussion. Why fabricate a doubly negative narrative and even loosely speculate about a controversy that does not even exist? Sorry, but I have to throw the whiskey tango foxtrot flag on this one. 

    Apple recently admitted that it throttles the performance of iPhones with weak batteries —not to prevent fires, but nominally to protect against sudden shutdowns that could hurt electronics.”
    Note the loaded language -- "admitted" to throttling, rather than, oh, "explained" its throttling, or detailed, shed light on, etc... Nope, they made an admission of guilt!

    rolleyes
    edited January 9 radarthekatbrisancejony0jas99wlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    sflocal said:
    Zero detail, so let's just publish some attention-grabbing headlines to imply that the iPhone has a faulty batter, i.e. APPL is doomed.
    What is APPL?
    brisancewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    Zero detail, so let's just publish some attention-grabbing headlines to imply that the iPhone has a faulty batter, i.e. APPL is doomed.
    What is APPL?


    Isn't that some oil company?

    Edit: Looks like there ae quite a few APPLs now. Polymer manufacturing, trading house, etc.

    edited January 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 730member
    If it wasn't an OEM battery, Apple probably wouldn't work on the phone in the first place.

    As to what caused the accident, who knows. My money is on the tech being a little too aggressive in removing the battery, damaging it in the process. There are other possibilities, but that seems most likely to me.

    iFixIt recommends depleting the phone battery to 20% or less to reduce the likelihood  (or maybe the degree) of exothermic reaction. Apple makes no mention of doing so. I wonder if that's covered when making an appointment for a battery replacement. iFixit also warns against bending/damaging the battery during removal.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    adm1adm1 Posts: 756member

    "The staff responded well and correctly," police added in a statement. "It sprinkled quartz sand over the overheated battery so that the smoke could be contained and sucked out after switching on the ventilation."
    I hope they didn’t “sprinkle” the sand on it.  The container of sand weighs about 5 pounds and should have been completely dumped onto the battery, emptying all of the contents.  I’m doubt they were messing around with a battery fire.

    It’s interesting they evacuated the store.  Evacuating the Genius Room would be normal but the entire store seems extreme. Maybe local laws have something to do with it.

    ”Sprinkle” makes it sound like they were decorating cookies.
    I would assume the fire alarm went off causing the store-wide evacuation as a safety precaution.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    plovellplovell Posts: 768member
    Rayz2016 said:
    sflocal said:
    Zero detail, so let's just publish some attention-grabbing headlines to imply that the iPhone has a faulty batter, i.e. APPL is doomed.

    It happened during removal of the battery?  Did the technician slip and possibly short out the battery somehow?  Did the tech inadvertently damage/puncture/force-remove the battery causing it to pop?

    Have no idea, so what so-called "journalists" do nowadays, lets just be the first to publish the headlines, and fix it later.  We need the web clicks.

    /end-rant
    Indeed, but what’s also missing here, is whether this was a genuine Apple battery in the device, or if it was a cheapoo third-party junk battery...


    Good point. 
    Apple doesn't do that. It'll only replace an Apple battery, not a third-party one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    Hunch: somebody used a nylon probe tool, aka black stick. 
    watto_cobra
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