Posted at: 02/21/2013 9:29 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 10:43 PM
By: Steph Crock
Student Injured After Cell Phone Explodes
(ABC 6 News) -- A whole classroom was cleared and a student was injured after his cell phone exploded. It happened at Kellogg Middle School in Rochester.
The phone was in the students pocket when this happened, burning the students leg, even leaving a mark on the floor. What we wanted to know is, why did it explode? Though of course the cause is still unknown at this point, we talked with experts to see if they had some answers.
Just about every one of us carries them around, so hearing a phone exploded while a Rochester student was just sitting in class, is concerning. "Hard to do probably on its own," said James Case at I-Mobile Repair. He works on phones for a living and says this is extremely rare, but it can happen.
"I've seen them where the battery has actually caught on fire primarily because something had actually happened to the phone," said Case. A phone he had worked on had caught on fire because someone punctured the battery. He's also seen a few batteries expand.
"On the older model 3GS phones I have seen where the batteries have actually expanded within the phone which is normally only caused by water damage," said Case.
He says in rare cases water damage could cause it to catch fire too. “If you had a water damaged phone that's been soaked, you've got to try and dry it out and have to make sure the battery is ok after that happens," said Case.
Both phone and computer experts agree, overheating lithium batteries like these can also cause problems, especially when your device is plugged in. "If your charging your computer and using it at the same time, that can actually heat it up even more than just charging," said Wade Fields at Miracle Computers.
“Make sure your charger isn't over heating the phone, and of course, you'll be able to tell that as soon as you pick the phone up," said Case.
However, that still doesn't give an exact answer for why the students phone blew up. "It could have been heat from in the pocket. It could have just been a defective battery. It’s hard to say," said Fields.
The classroom was evacuated until the issue had been resolved. Mayo Clinic has advised parents to closely monitor their child for after effects. Students who report a lingering burning sensation in their throat should see a medical doctor, because of the burning sulfur.
The students family and school officials would not comment on what happened.