Aus man needed surgery after iPhone explodes

  • 02/08/2016
Gareth Clear in Australia’s Royal North Shore Hospital (Supplied)
Gareth Clear in Australia’s Royal North Shore Hospital (Supplied)

Australian mountain-biker Gareth Clear has had to undergo skin graft surgery after his iPhone 6 exploded.

The 36-year-old from Bondi Beach in New South Wales was cycling on Sunday afternoon (local time) when he fell off his bike, landing on his phone.

Seconds later he noticed a burning smell and a scorching heat. His six-month-old phone then exploded in his pocket. It melted through his shorts and two layers of his skin on his upper right thigh.

"It's a bit random, the thing to be very specific about, the phone did hit the ground, it didn't just spontaneously combust. It was a one-in-one-million chance I hit a part of the phone which pierced the lithium battery and it exploded," he told local media.

"I'm 36, I've had a mobile phone for 18 years of my life and for that thing to explode or short circuit and cause it to temporarily ignite... I could see the metal bending and all the lithium leaking out of the bottom end."

Mr Clear expects it to take weeks to recover from his injuries.

Dr Da-Wei Wang from the UNSW faculty of chemical engineering told The Daily Telegraph it isn't uncommon for lithium ion batteries in phones to overheat and ignite. He also said an explosion after an impact like this was likely caused by a combination of overheating and a faulty design.

Mr Clear said Apple told him they would investigate the incident.