A Samsung Note 2 smartphone caught fire inside a Chennai-bound international flight of IndiGo on Friday with 175 passengers on board, leading to a major safety scare.
The scare prompted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue an advisory to airlines, asking them to caution passengers to avoid using Samsung Note series phones on board.
The aviation safety regulator also ordered a probe and summoned Samsung officials on Monday.
The aircraft landed safely after the crew retrieved the smoking phone from an overhead luggage rack and put it in a container filled with water in the lavatory.
The incident happened on IndiGo flight 6E-054 from Singapore to Chennai when the plane was about to land around 7.45am. The airline said passengers alerted the crew after smelling smoke in the cabin.
“The crew quickly identified minor smoke coming from the hat-rack of seat 23C,” it said. A fire extinguisher was also used, although IndiGo clarified there was no fire “but sparks were observed”.
It’s not yet clear whether the phone was switched off, in airplane mode or was left on by the passenger.
The incident comes barely a fortnight after the DGCA banned flyers from carrying the latest Samsung phone, Galaxy Note 7, in check-in bags. The regulator prohibited the phone’s use on board after Samsung announced this month to recall millions of this make over batteries catching fire.
“We are aware of an incident involving one of our devices. At Samsung, customer safety is our highest priority. We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information, and are looking into the matter,” said a Samsung spokesperson.
The Note 2 was launched in late 2012.
IndiGo too made a similar assertion about safety beings its utmost priority.
“This equipment (Samsung phone) will be further examined by the departments concerned,” the airline said.