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Departing passenger’s Galaxy Note 7 emits smoke at Kansai airport

Kyodo, Staff Report

A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Note 7 smartphone belonging to a departing passenger emitted smoke at Kansai International Airport in Osaka earlier this week, a transport ministry official said Friday.

It is believed to be the first such incident involving the troubled smartphones of the South Korean electronics giant at airport facilities or on aircraft in Japan.

According to the official, the device started to emit smoke around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, shortly after the passenger, who was a foreign national, tried to detach the battery at a security checkpoint for international flights. An airport official had told the passenger that it is prohibited to bring the device on board.

No one appeared to have been injured in the incident.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in September instructed Japanese airlines to ban passengers from carrying the Note 7 smartphones in their checked luggage.

But as more cases of the smartphones catching fire emerged, the ministry on Oct. 15 instructed the country’s airline companies to prohibit passengers from bringing the devices aboard airplanes entirely, following a similar edict by U.S. authorities.

Passengers could choose to board without their Note 7 or have the airline confiscate it.

A series of incidents involving dangerous overheating have been reported overseas with the Galaxy Note 7, which has not been sold in Japan.

Samsung halted production and sale of the devices Oct. 11.