A Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone caught fire inside an IndiGo aircraft while it was landing in Chennai yesterday, prompting aviation regulator DGCA to summon company officials and issue an advisory against the use of this series of devices from the South Korean major on flights.
Two weeks ago it had in an advisory said that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones must be kept switched and not used on board aircraft after a series of reports of the phone's battery exploding in other countries. This is the first incident of a Samsung device catching fire on a flight in India.
"IndiGo confirms that a few passengers travelling on 6E-054 flight from Singapore to Chennai noticed the smoke smell in the cabin this morning...and immediately alerted the cabin crew on board," the airline said in a statement.
The crew, it said, "quickly identified minor smoke coming from the hat-rack of seat 23 C and simultaneously informed the Pilot-in-Command who further alerted the ATC of the situation on board." IndiGo said the cabin crew used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire and transferred the phone into a container filled with water in the lavatory.
It has thanked alert passengers and said, "safety is of the utmost priority and at no time it can be compromised". "We are aware of an incident involving one of our devices. We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information, and are looking into the matter," a Samsung spokesperson said.
The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked airlines to advise passengers to keep their Samsung Galaxy Note phones off while on board. In its advisory on the Samsung Note 7 it had said that the phone must be carried in hand baggage and not in checked in luggage.