Flaming battery causes emergency evacuation of Apple Store in Zurich

- Adrian Ungureanu

The issues with batteries are still giving headaches to Apple as a malfunctioning battery caused an emergency evacuation of an Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland, after it burst in flames.

The incident comes in a moment when iPhone users are rushing in stores to replace the aged batteries in their old iPhones at a largely discounted price in comparison with the usual price charged by Apple. $29 sounds a lot better then $79. But the price cuts comes in the aftermath of the throttling scandal, so its a compensation from the way Apple handled the problem with the aging batteries on older iPhones.

It’s not official that the incident in Zurich was caused by an iPhone battery, as the device’s name wasn’t disclosed, but it’s pretty hard not to think it was from an iPhone, given the current context. According to press reports, while it was removed from an unnamed device a battery burst in flames and puffed a lot of smoke.

About 50 people – clients and employees – where evacuated from the store. A firetruck, a police car and several ambulances were dispatched at the site. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

The employee manipulating the faulty battery suffered only some minor burns on the hand. Other 7 people were given medical treatment on site by the ambulance staff, but none of them were hospitalized.

According to the local police, the situation was very well managed by the Apple Store staff. They reacted timely and appropriately by sprinkling quartz sand over the tantrum-throwing battery and maxing out the facility’s ventilation to have it suck out the smoke.

Good job for the employees, but such incidents only hurt the trust of the company. Hopefully such events won’t happen again.