Following multiple earlier reports about iPhone battery fires manifesting in various markets around the world, the South China Morning Post published a report on Friday about another battery incident which took place today at one of Apple’s high-end Hong Kong retail stores, sending two Apple employees to the hospital for minor treatment.
At around 12:07 pm local time on Friday, emergency personnel were reportedly dispatched to Apple’s posh retail store located in Central, Hong Kong’s International Finance Centre mall. There, two employees, who were allegedly in the process of performing a routine battery placement on an undisclosed iPhone model, reportedly fell ill after inhaling smoke emanating from the iPhone’s battery compartment.
“The two staff members were repairing the phone battery at the time it emitted smoke,” a police spokesperson told the publication, adding that “The pair complained of feeling unwell after inhaling smoke.”
The employees, who were not identified by name, were able to extinguish “the source of the smoke” before Emergency personnel even arrived on the scene — but not before inhaling enough of the fumes to render them “unwell” and requiring transport to nearby Queen Mary Hospital for treatment.
An initial police investigation of the incident revealed “nothing suspicious” — however local authorities are still investigating and additional details could emerge, the report claims.
“It was a minor incident,” an Apple spokesman said in response to the paper’s request for comment. “The store quickly resumed normal operations and no customers were affected.”
The rep went on to add that Apple is also conducting an investigation into the incident, hoping not only to determine its root cause, but also whether the iPhone model its employees were working on at the time was among those eligible for a discounted battery replacement as part of its ongoing program.
iPhones up in Flames
While troubling in its own respect, today’s incident sadly isn’t the first of such battery related iPhone fires we’ve reported on in recent weeks.
In fact, it’s at least the fourth incident so far this year — following previous events including an Orlando, Florida teenager allegedly being burned while charging her iPhone 7 Plus; a smoking battery which caused the evacuation of at least 50 people from a Zurich, Switzerland Apple Store; and the iPhone which most recently went aflame at Apple’s Calle Colón Store located in Valencia, Spain.
It’s certainly troubling to know that these iPhone battery issues continue to materialize even if the occurrences are far and between..And yet, as the year unfolds and many iPhone 6 and 6s owners are expected to have their batteries replaced in accordance with Apple’s program, it’s startling to think we could see even more incidents like this surface in the coming months.