Two Apple retail employees hospitalized following battery rupture at Hong Kong store

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in iPhone
Two employees at a Hong Kong Apple Store were taken to hospital on Friday following another battery-related incident, according to reports, with the pair said to have inhaled smoke generated by an iPhone battery while undertaking an in-store repair of a customer's device.




Emergency services were summoned to the Apple retail outlet based in the International Finance Center mall, reports the South China Morning Post. Store employees managed to extinguish the battery before it could cause more harm than emitting smoke, and before emergency personnel arrived at the scene, with the containment meaning there was no need to evacuate the store.

The staff members complained of feeling unwell in their call for help, a police spokesperson advised, with the two employees reportedly conscious when they were taken to the Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam for treatment. While an initial investigation did not find anything suspicious about the event, the local authorities are said to be continuing their investigations.

"It was a minor incident. The store quickly resumed normal operations and no customers were affected," an Apple representative told the report. Apple is also internally investigating the incident, including if the iPhone battery in question was being replaced as part of the company's global battery replacement program.




Apple introduced the iPhone battery replacement scheme in response to criticism after it confirmed it slowed down older iPhones with worn batteries, in order to minimize shutdowns and other performance issues. As well as providing discounted out-of-warranty battery replacements, Apple is also introducing new battery management options in a future iOS update.

The incident in Hong Kong is the latest in a string of battery-related accidents that have taken place at retail outlets this year. On January 9, an Apple store in Zurich, Switzerland was temporarily evacuated after an iPhone battery emitted smoke at the service desk, injuring seven people in total and giving an Apple employee minor burns, but no-one required hospitalization.

Apple's Calle Colon store in Valencia, Spain, had to be evacuated the next day over a similar incident involving an iPhone battery exploding. Apple workers managed to air out the store themselves and smothered the battery with sand without assistance from the police or firefighters, with no reports of any resulting injuries.

On January 23, a viral video surfaced showing a customer biting an iPhone battery during a service at an independent electronics store in China. It is reported the customer wanted to check if the battery was genuine, with the unusual technique causing the battery to explode and generate smoke, though the incident appears to have simply startled nearby staff and employees rather than caused harm.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Sounds like they need to train their repair techs a little better.
    netmagewatto_cobrabb-15jony0
  • Reply 2 of 16
    And this is why we cannot rush repairs. Batteries are dangerous to work with. 
    racerhomie3netmagewatto_cobrabshanklolliverjony0
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Assault and battery charges were filed shortly after the incident.
    boltsfan17bonobobwatto_cobracommand_favon b7hammeroftruthdasanman69jony0
  • Reply 4 of 16
    I replaced a screen on my iPad a few years ago.  The battery was surprisingly soft, but I managed to resist biting it.

    I’ve also never had the urge to eat a TidePod...maybe I’m just a freak.


    racerhomie3king editor the gratebaconstangwatto_cobrabshanklolliverjony0
  • Reply 5 of 16
    I replaced a screen on my iPad a few years ago.  The battery was surprisingly soft, but I managed to resist biting it.

    I’ve also never had the urge to eat a TidePod...maybe I’m just a freak.


    Lol. I also wanted to bite my old iPhone 5S battery. It looks delicious!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    My battery got fairly mangled while I was extracting it from my iPhone 6 (the adhesive strips kept breaking as I tried to pull them out), but nothing bad happened, probably because I drained the battery thoroughly before I started, as a precaution. 
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    They shouldn't bring their Galaxy Notes to work...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,767member
    Sounds like they need to train their repair techs a little better.
    Or Cook should stop buying cheap ass batteries.
    kestral
  • Reply 9 of 16
    k2kw said:
    Sounds like they need to train their repair techs a little better.
    Or Cook should stop buying cheap ass batteries.
    I seriously doubt that's the case.
    netmagewatto_cobracommand_fbb-15lolliverjony0
  • Reply 10 of 16
    k2kw said:
    Sounds like they need to train their repair techs a little better.
    Or Cook should stop buying cheap ass batteries.
    Personally, I wouldn't want to be responsible for finding 77,000,000 nice ass batteries every 3 months or so.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    k2kw said:
    Sounds like they need to train their repair techs a little better.
    Or Cook should stop buying cheap ass batteries.
    Or stop glueing them in with industrial strength adhesive.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,451member
    I’ve also never had the urge to eat a TidePod...maybe I’m just a freak.


    No, you simply followed the instructions:


    SpamSandwichcommand_fbaconstanglolliver
  • Reply 13 of 16
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,206member
    I’ve also never had the urge to eat a TidePod...maybe I’m just a freak.


    No, you simply followed the instructions:


    The iPod Challenge!
    avon b7
  • Reply 14 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,376member
    I knew some asswipe would try to make this Cook's fault.

    iFixIt mentions draining the battery at least to 20% to minimize potential damage. Apple should have that posted on their site and somewhere in the appointment process when making an appointment for a battery exchange.

    And finally not accept a phone for battery replacement if it's about say 20% charge or tell the customer it will be an overnight replacement instead of an hour— give or take.
    lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 16
    It was probably a cheap 3rd party battery that exploded in that iPhone. 

    The batteries that Apple makes are not glued to the device, they have adhesive strips that are removable like the hooks 3M makes. The problem is the strips can break and getting the battery out is very risky. If you pull the strips too hard, you can peel the protective battery casing off and expose the internal part of the battery to air. This is very dangerous and the battery can smolder and combust. The fumes from the burning battery are very harmful. 

    This is is why Apple can't crank out battery replacements as fast as the public thinks they can. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 16 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,376member
    It was probably a cheap 3rd party battery that exploded in that iPhone. 
    You have no way of knowing that and as of this point; you're just pulling that out of your ass. Apple HK may be different, but here in the US Apple won't work on a phone that has non-Apple parts.



    The batteries that Apple makes are not glued to the device, they have adhesive strips that are removable like the hooks 3M makes.
    Bullshit. I just replaced the battery in my iPhone with the iFixIt replacement kit. The battery is held in place by an adhesive strip that nothing like nothing like the 3M hooks that 3M makes. You don't have a clue what you're talking about.
    I'll give you one— a-d-h-e-s-i-v-e. Not hooks.

    The danger is not in pulling the adhesive strips too hard— if you do they just break. Dental floss will separate the battery from the case. The danger is in pulling up on the strips (or dental floss, if you break the strips) and cracking the battery. This is why you discharge the battery before working on it. Doing so greatly minimized the danger in the first place.
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