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Apple phone glows red, emits smoke on flight

An Apple iPhone belonging to a passenger travelling on an Australian flight reportedly self-combusted emitting a "significant amount" of dense smoke, prompting authorities to launch an investigation.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred when a Regional Express flight, on its way from Lismore, landed in Sydney on Friday, The Age reported. Regional Express said a flight attendant carried out "recovery actions" immediately and that the red glow of the phone was extinguished successfully.

The matter was brought to the notice of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). ATSB was going to thoroughly investigate the phone model -- an Apple iPhone 4 -- "and try and understand what happened," CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.

The phone is reported to have glowed red, self-combusted and emitted a "significant amount" of dense smoke. The iPhone 4 was no longer operational, he said, adding that he had never heard of a similar incident occurring during or after a flight.

Apple Australia spokeswoman Fiona Martin was quoted as saying that the company was looking "forward to working with officials" investigating the incident. An anonymous reader had claimed a similar experience with a different model, the iPhone 3GS, on November 3, the newspaper said.

"My iPhone was expanding in size in terms of its width," the anonymous reader was quoted. "(It) continued to grow in size. Before long the phone refused to even turn on and ... just expanded to what it looks like now." The reader said that - like others - their battery life "was rapidly shrinking after updating to the iOS5 .... so much so that it would go completely flat once I got to 30 per cent." Apple acknowledged battery life issues remained after another update. The reader suspected there was a clear link between their upgrade to the iOS5 software and their battery "exploding".

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