Louisville flight evacuated after smoke found on plane; Samsung phone believed responsible

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Samsung phone prompted the evacuation of a plane at Louisville International Airport Wednesday morning after smoke was reported on board.

The Southwest Airlines flight was scheduled to depart from Louisville when smoke was discovered around 9:20 a.m.

All 75 people on the Boeing 737 left the plane without incident. Louisville Metro Arson told WLKY that a Samsung phone overheated, causing the smoke.

The airline released a statement about the incident:

Prior to Southwest Airlines Flight 994 departing from Louisville for Baltimore, a customer reported smoke emitting from an electronic device. All customers and crew deplaned safely via the main cabin door. Customers will be accommodated on other Southwest flights to their final destinations. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest and we encourage our customers to comply with the FAA Pack Safe guidelines.

Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, which can catch fire or explode when the lithium-ion batteries overheat. Samsung recalled more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones worldwide.

4 Fast Facts

  • Southwest Airlines flight evacuated in Louisville
  • Smoke was discovered on the plane
  • Investigators believe a Samsung phone is responsible
  • All 75 people on the plane left without incident

Southwest has a travel advisory for customers specifically about the Galaxy Note 7. The airline advised customers to turn off the device and disconnect it from any chargers. Passengers should also turn off any applications that could active the phone, such as an alarm clock, and protect the power switch from being unintentionally turned on.

Southwest told passengers to keep the phone with them or in their carry-on bags. The phones shouldn’t go in checked luggage, the airline said.

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