An Apple iPhone 6 exploded in cyclists pocket

Thomas Wellburn
August 2, 2016

A cyclist in Australia learnt the potency of lithium-ion batteries during a routine bike ride, when the mans Apple iPhone 6 exploded in his back pocket.

We know the issues surrounding lithium-ion cells and their potential instability if subjected to knocks or extreme heat but Gareth Clear from Sydney, Australia, seems to heave learnt the hard way. While having a brisk ride yesterday Sunday afternoon, he had a minor fall and landed on his Apple iPhone 6. The handset was placed in his back pocket and received the full brunt of the force, causing it to explode and leave third-degree burn all over Gareth’s right bum-cheek (ouch!).

Apple iPhone 6 exploded from a minor fall

Apple iPhone 6 exploded

Interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald, he said: “My elbow, my knee and then my right butt-cheek hit the floor”.

“I saw smoke coming out of my back pocket… I was completely bewildered about what it was. All of a sudden I felt a surging pain in my top right leg. I heard a kind of a snap and I could feel the thing melting through my shorts”.

Lithium-ion batteries are generally safe unless subjected to heat, electrical surges or drops that damage the battery. Since the cells hold twice the energy of a nickel-based battery and four-times the amount of lead acid, that density comes at a price. Any intrusion which reaches into the battery cell itself can have pretty explosive consequences, as demonstrated here.

Gareth tried to contact Apple via their Twitter support handle, posting an image of the burn followed by a short description of what happened. The technology giant responded with a basic automated response, before an employee tried to call him directly. He will now have to undergo a skin graft to replace the burned tissue, which damaged a large proportion of his upper right thigh.

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