'Hoverboard' fire evacuates Texas mall


A mall in Houston, Texas, has been evacuated after a self-balancing motorised scooter caught fire, reportedly while still in its box.

The scooter, commonly known as a hoverboard, had been returned due to battery issues, the Associated Press reports. A staff member had attempted to charge it before storing it away in a box, where it then caught fire.

"It just sounded like a small explosion," one witness told CBS-affiliate KHOU 11 News. "[It] sounded like a bomb, honestly."

The blaze in Deerbrook Mall led to an evacuation on Monday (local time) as firefighters dealt with the situation. It's understood no one was injured and there was no property damage.

Since the incident, the suburban mall has reportedly removed all hoverboards from its stores.

Self-balancing scooters have been plagued with bad publicity after several reports of fires linked to the devices – online retailer Amazon also pulled the item due to safety concerns, while many major airlines, including Air New Zealand and American Airlines, refuse to carry them either in checked-in or carry-on luggage.

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