Two employees at a Hong Kong Apple Store were taken to hospital on Friday following a battery-related incident due to inhaling smoke generated by an iPhone battery while repairing a customer’s device.
Emergency services were called to the Apple retail outlet based in the International Finance Center mall, reported by the South China Morning Post.
Store employees managed to extinguish the battery before it could cause more harm than emitting smoke, and before emergency personnel arrived at the scene, with the containment meaning there was no need to evacuate the store.
The staff members complained of feeling unwell in their call for help, a police spokesperson advised, with the two employees reportedly conscious when they were taken to the Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam for treatment. While an initial investigation did not find anything suspicious about the event, the local authorities are said to be continuing their investigations.
The store quickly resumed normal operations and no customers were affected,” an Apple representative told the report. Apple is also internally investigating the incident, including if the iPhone battery in question was being replaced as part of the company’s global battery replacement program.
The incident in Hong Kong is the latest in a string of battery-related accidents that have taken place at retail outlets this year. On January 9, an Apple store in Zurich, Switzerland was temporarily evacuated after an iPhone battery emitted smoke at the service desk, injuring seven people in total and giving an Apple employee minor burns, but no-one required hospitalization.
Apple’s Calle Colon store in Valencia, Spain, had to be evacuated the next day over a similar incident involving an iPhone battery exploding. Apple workers managed to air out the store themselves and smothered the battery with sand without assistance from the police or firefighters, with no reports of any resulting injuries.