Samsung Galaxy S4 Explodes and Burns Down House in Hong Kong, Adds Up to Previous Explosion Incidents

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | July 31, 2013 1:20 PM EST

In Hong Kong, a man, only identified as Du, and his wife lost their home after his Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone suddenly exploded and burned down their place. Samsung Hong Kong instantly responded to the incident by conducting its own investigation to determine if the unit that triggered the explosion was original or not.


Photo credit: Tumblr/appleflickcom

The male victim recounted that he was only playing the game app "Love Machine" on his Samsung Galaxy S4 when he unexpectedly heard a loud popping sound coming from the smartphone's battery. The device exploded in an instant which made the owner accidentally toss it on the sofa, and the fire rapidly spread and his house sustained severe damages.


Photo credit: Tumblr/thetechgets

The Chinese news Web site Xianguo.com reported Du and his wife managed to escape from their burning home with minor injuries, but the couple were not able to get important belongings including their car. Samsung Hong Kong confirmed that they will carefully look into the matter and conduct a chemical analysis on the smartphone remains, particularly the battery, to determine if the Samsung Galaxy S4 is fully responsible for the unfortunate incident.

According to the preliminary report, the Samsung Galaxy S4 had a stock battery and the owner was using a genuine Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone along with its other accessories such as charger and battery. The investigators assured they will be looking at different angles in determining the cause of the fire like involvement of rogue smartphone parts or repair.

The devices tended to explode and cause severe damages if improperly handled, compromised due to an unauthorized repair or powered up with the use of fake chargers. The incident in Hong Kong only added up to previous explosion incidents reported involving a Samsung device.

An 18-year-old female victim from Switzerland suffered third degree burns on a leg after her Samsung Galaxy S3 exploded in her pocket and the investigation revealed that the woman used a discounted replacement battery on the smartphone when the incident happened. Another incident happened in Dublin, Ireland, when a man reported about his Samsung Galaxy S3 exploding while placed on his vehicle's dashboard.

Even rival company Apple was in the spotlight for smartphone explosion incidents. A 23-year-old Chinese woman died from electrocution when she answered a phone call from her iPhone while being charged at home.

It was revealed that the Chinese victim was using a fake iPhone charger when the electrical shock incident occurred. In another reported case, a 20-year-old Australian woman was hospitalised in Sydney after getting shocked from her iPhone.

Prior to the Samsung Galaxy S4 explosion in Hong Kong, China's technology experts issued consumers a warning message regarding fake smartphone chargers or replacement batteries. "Knockoff chargers sometimes cut corners. The quality of the capacitor and circuit protector may not be good and this may lead to the capacitor breaking down and sending 220 volts of electricity directly into the cell phone battery," telecommunications expert Xiang Ligang stated.

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