A Misplaced Screw Caused That iPhone Plane Fire

Remember that iPhone that caught fire on an Aussie plane? The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has now identified the problem: a misplaced screw that punctured the battery casing.

Here's the full ASTB explanation:

The technical examinations found that a small metal screw had been misplaced in the battery bay of the mobile telephone; the screw puncturing the battery casing and causing an internal short circuit leading to heating and thermal runaway. It was probable that the screw had been misplaced during an earlier repair carried out on the telephone. That repair had not been conducted by an authorised service provider.

In other words: the screw was in the wrong place because the screen had been replaced, a scenario that's not exactly uncommon with iPhones. So if you do have a repaired iPhone, make sure you carry it with you and don't check it in hand luggage. Flying has enough hassles without emergency landings because of a burning handset in the hold.

[ATSB via ZDNet]



    I can honestly say the having a screw punch through the battery lining, this is how lithium batteries are supplied (no hard plastic casing around them) for mobile phones, that the air getting to the lithium would of caused the fire not a short. Lithium does not like water even the water vapor in air is enough for the lithium to react. On the plus side lithium is also a self oxidizer, which means that once it catches fire you cannot put it out until it has burnt itself out.


    "So if you do have a repaired iPhone, make sure you carry it with you and don’t check it in hand luggage."

    This makes no sense?

      Because if it catches fire in your pocket you can deal with it, a fire in the cargo bay of a plane will probably result in the plane you know.... crashing. (BROTIP: that is bad)

    Sounds like a home repair job

    Reading this made me wonder if Apples legal team had been speaking with the ATSB to make sure they disclosed it was an unauthorised repair. But I would do the same if i was apple.

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