Sunday 4 December 2016

Man suffers third degree burns after iPhone 'explodes' in his pocket

WARNING: This post contains graphic images.

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 02/08/2016 | 12:16

Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Apple's iPhone 6
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear

A mountain biker has described the horrific moment his iPhone 6 "exploded" in the pocket of his shorts, leaving him in need of skin graft surgery.

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Gareth Clear (36), originally from Hampshire, England, but based in Australia, was cycling on one of his regular routes on Sunday afternoon when he fell from his bike.

Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear

Although it was only a minor fall in which he received a few small grazes, he noticed a plume of smoke rising from his pocket as he stood up.

He said he suddenly felt a “searing pain” and extreme heat as the phone melted the fabric of his shorts and burned through two layers of skin on his upper thigh.

In his desperate attempts to remove the melting shorts and exploded phone, Mr Clear burned his fingers, and had to use his fist to dislodge the phone from his burning skin.

“I was on my own, writhing on the ground in agony,” he told the Daily Mail.

Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear

He added that there was still plenty of smoke coming from the phone, and he waited 20 minutes for it to cool down before walking back to the nearest town.

The management consultant’s burns were so severe that he was transferred to a specialist burns unit, where he received a skin graft.

He said he must spend the next six days in the hospital as the charred flesh is removed and healthy skin grows in its place.

Mr Clear posted about the incident on Twitter and received a response from Apple, who said they will look into the issue.

Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear
Gareth Clear needed a skin graft after his iPhone exploded. Photo: Twitter/Gareth Clear

He now wants to warn people that carrying their smartphones is “a tragedy waiting to happen”.

“Every iPhone is the same – if it happens to one, it will happen to another one. I was just lucky I was wearing pretty thick clothing and it was on my lower body. It could hurt someone else much more than it did me,” he said.

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