Lindenhurst man says iPhone exploded in his pocket, giving him 3rd-degree burns

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LINDENHURST, New York (PIX11) – Apple is investigating a Lindehurst man’s claim that he was injured when his iPhone blew up on Valentine’s day, severely burning his upper thigh as he struggled to rip it out of his pocket.

“I bent over to get keys and all I heard was pop and after a little smoke coming out, and just like an instant burn,” Erik Johnson said. “My leg just starts going on fire.”

As the iPhone 5C seared his thigh, Johnson said he struggled to get free of it, but couldn’t, CNN reported.

“I was literally jumping up and down trying to get the phone out of my pocket, but I had dress pants on. I think the phone melted my pockets shut so I couldn’t get into it and I had to rip my pants off,” Johnson said.  His injuries were so bad that he says he spent 10 days in a hospital recovering after suffering second and third-degree burns.

Apple is now looking into the allegations, which are similar to those made in a 2009 incident in which a French teenager was slightly injured when his phone began to hiss and smoke.  According to the CEO of Angelbeat, a company that specializes in technology information seminars, in rare cases phones can spew hot lithium if the battery is overheated or the circuit board damaged.  In the summer of 2013, Apple launched an investigation after a Chinese woman was allegedly electrocuted while charging her iPhone.

Considering the amount of iPhones sold every year, the chances of this happening are likely “infinitesimal.”

According to Johnson’s lawyer, it’s not clear yet if he will be pressing charges.  Attorney Mike Della told CNN, “Obviously Apple has to take a closer look at what they’re putting out in the stream of commerce before they go out and sell these items that could potentially be this dangerous.”


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