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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be banned from aircraft in the US

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone devices are being banned from aircraft in the US starting on Saturday. Regulators announced the plan after numerous reports of the devices catching fire.

The order from the US Department of Transportation and other agencies bars owners from carrying on the devices or stowing them in checked baggage during flights.

Samsung Electronics scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on Tuesday  because of incidents where the phones began smoking or caught fire, dealing a huge blow to its reputation.

"We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

"We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."

The world's largest phone maker this week said it was also expanding a U.S. recall of the fire-prone model to a total of 1.9 million Note 7 phones, including the 1 million Galaxy Note 7s it recalled on September 15.

 

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday the Note 7's battery "can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazard to consumers."

It added that Samsung had received 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the United States, including 23 new reports since the September 15 recall announcement.

Passengers who are currently traveling with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones should contact Samsung or their wireless carrier immediately to obtain information about how to return their phones and arrange for a refund or a replacement phone, the department said.

Samsung has recalled more than 2.5 million of the smartphones, citing a battery manufacturing error. The South Korean company discontinued the product earlier this week, less than two months after its August release.

jbh/bw (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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