A 14-year old girl in Kennebunk, Maine was settling in for another normal school day late last week when she heard a pop emanate from her pocket. Her friends immediately noticed smoke billowing from the girls’ pants and realized they had caught fire. When all was said and done the girl, who remains unidentified, was in the hospital. A charred iPhone 5c was on the classroom floor.
According to witnesses as well as emergency responders, it was an iPhone 5c, given to the girl less than two months prior, that ignited in what can be considered a freak occurrence. The most likely culprit was the handset’s lithium-ion battery.
A self-immolating iPhone and other deadly accidents are rare, but not unprecedented. Last year a Chinese woman died after reportedly being electrocuted while talking on her iPhone. The problem was traced back to an unlicensed charging cable. Apple responded by insisting users only purchase official cables and wall chargers, going so far as to offer an exchange program.
Apple has yet to issue a statement in regards to the latest incident, which hits a bit closer to Apple’s base of operations and can’t (at the moment) be attributed to any other source.