iPhone battery fire forces brief evacuation of Zurich Apple store

By Roger Fingas

Tuesday, January 09, 2018, 10:42 am PT (01:42 pm ET)

An Apple store in Zurich, Switzerland was temporarily evacuated on Tuesday after an iPhone’s battery at the service desk overheated in the middle of a removal procedure, emitting smoke.

A technician burned his hand, and in all seven people received medical help, Reuters reported . Local police noted that about 50 workers and customers had to leave the shop.

“The staff responded well and correctly,” police added in a statement. “It sprinkled quartz sand over the overheated battery so that the smoke could be contained and sucked out after switching on the ventilation.”

Forensic specialists were brought in to determine the cause of the fire. It’s most likely the battery was damaged, as lithium-ion batteries are known to be volatile.

Apple recently admitted that it throttles the performance of iPhones with weak batteries —not to prevent fires, but nominally to protect against sudden shutdowns that could hurt electronics. Many people are likely taking advantage of $29 out-of-warranty battery replacements offered to appease the public.

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