“I could see it melting through my shorts. I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus.”
The ever present risk posed by lithium batteries has surfaced again with a Sydney man suffering severe burns when his iPhone exploded.
An Australian man is asking Apple to warn the public about the dangers of mobile phone batteries after his iPhone 6 caught fire, leaving him with severe burns.
Gareth Clear, a 36-year-old management consultant from Sydney, told local papers the phone caught fire when he fell off his bicycle.
He posted pictures of his injury on Twitter.
Mr Clear fell off his bicycle while cycling along a Sydney bike trail at the weekend. His phone was in a pocket of his shorts.
“It’s a bit random, the thing to be very specific about, the phone did hit the ground, it didn’t just spontaneously combust. It was a one in one million chance I hit a part of the phone which pierced the lithium battery and it exploded,”
“I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket… and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain in my top right leg,”
Mr Clear said his injuries required skin graft surgery.
Lithium-ion batteries can catch fire if they are involved in an impact.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it receives around one to two reports of consumer injuries from mobile phone batteries each year.
It recommends that people do not carry mobile phones in their pockets.
In the US, lithium ion batteries in “hoverboards” have been blamed for 12 incidents, in some cases destroying bedrooms and even entire homes.
Mr Clear said he wants Apple to do more to inform people of the dangers.
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“Apple got back in contact with me saying that it looked serious and asking for more information so they could support me and replace the phone,” he said.
“Imagine if that was a young child, banging a phone against a table or someone skiing or running and the phone explodes?”
Airline authorities in the US and Europe are considering bans on carrying lithium-ion batteries because of the dangers of an explosion on board.
Such a ban would apply to large shipments of batteries, rather than to individual devices carried by passengers.