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Smoking Samsung phone forces airplane evacuation at Kentucky airport

In a June 6, 2016, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet was preparing to land.
In a June 6, 2016, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet was preparing to land. AP

LOUISVILLE – A Samsung Electronics smartphone caused smoke that forced the evacuation of a plane waiting to depart from Louisville International Airport, almost three weeks after U.S. safety regulators started an official recall of the Galaxy Note 7, according to Southwest Airlines.

Louisville Metro Arson Capt. Kevin Fletcher told news outlets that the device overheated Wednesday morning and began to smoke, which led Southwest Airlines to evacuate the plane before it departed for Baltimore. The plane was still at the gate. The type of Samsung phone involved hasn't been determined, Southwest said.

But the phone’s owner, Brian Green, told The Verge that the phone involved was a replacement Galaxy Note 7. Green said he picked up the phone at an AT&T Inc. store on Sept. 21, and showed The Verge a photograph of the box that displayed a black square symbol indicating a replacement phone.

"Samsung is looking into the issue and will have to confirm the model," Lori Crabtree, a spokeswoman for the airline, said in an emailed statement. "A customer reported smoke emitting from an electronic device."

Airport authority spokeswoman Natalie Chaudoin said 75 people, including crew members, were evacuated from the flight. She says no one was injured.

Fletcher says there was minor damage to the plane’s carpet where the device was dropped.

U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall last month of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a battery flaw caused fires that led to injuries and property damage.

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