Apple’s flagship retail store in Amsterdam was briefly evacuated over the weekend amid a scenario that local reports described as an overheating iPad battery.
The trouble began around 1:50 pm on Sunday, the Dutch-language blog iCulture reported, when employees working at the Amsterdam Apple Store were alerted to a potentially dangerously overheated iPad model among the store’s expansive display.
Staff immediately jumped into action and placed the tablet in a bin with sand, the publication reports, in a bid to quell the heat.
By around 2:20 pm local time, the city’s fire department was reportedly on scene and taking stock of the situation, though there was no obvious smoke or fire brewing as a result of the overheating iPad by that time.
Three individuals caught in the fray reported experiencing “respiratory issues” following the episode, but it’s unclear how dangerous the situation got before things settled down — especially since by 3:00 pm, iCulture reports, Apple employees and shoppers were welcomed back into the store.
While these types of battery overheating scenarios are rare, they are also not unheard of. Lithium-Ion batteries (the kind which provide power to nearly every iPhone, iPad and mobile electronic device in existence today) are essential but nonetheless volatile components. And, as we’ve seen several times in the past, they can potentially overheat, explode and catch on fire for a number of reasons.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, for example, was poised to be one of 2016’s hottest smartphone flagships. But the infamous, exploding device was doomed from day one with what was ultimately determined to be a wide-ranging battery defect which occurred at the manufacturing level. This defect resulted not only in multiple exploding devices and injuries around the world, but ultimately, the recall and discontinuation of the flagship.
Even Apple’s high-end devices like iPhone and iPad have succumbed to spontaneous and unprovoked battery overheating episodes and explosions, over the years. And while this may be the first episode to have been prompted by an iPad device, it’s worth pointing out that iPads and iPhones use essentially the same battery packs with different capacities. Learn how you can prevent your devices from overheating and exploding here.