An Australian Mountain biker has suffered third degree burns, after his iPhone exploded during a minor fall from his bicycle, on July 31st, 2016.
36-year-old Gareth Clear was reportedly biking alone in the city of Sydney, around the Manly Dam area in the Northern Beaches, when his foot missed the pedal of the bicycle. This made him to fall off his bike, landing accidentally on his iPhone. The phone was in his back pocket when he fell.
Moments later, after he got up from the ground, he noticed smoke pouring from his back. He then began to feel what he described as a searing sensation on the right side of his buttocks.
When Clear checked to see what was wrong, he realized the shorts he was wearing were melting. Becoming shocked at what he was seeing, he decided to save the situation. However, that was when the worst happened. The iPhone exploded.
With nobody around to help Clear, he struggled to remove the shorts. But it was too late. It had melted, burning deep into his skin.
“I suddenly saw this incredible plume of smoke. And there was a searing pain that went along with it, as though someone had pushed a huge block of ice against my leg. It was pretty freaking painful,” Clear narrated his ordeal.
As Clear tried desperately to remove the melting pants and the exploded phone, he reportedly burned his fingers. The phone had stuck deep into his skin. He had to use his fist to punch the phone off his burning skin.
The phone dislodged with a huge metallic bang before falling on the ground, where smoke continued to pour out. Clear said: “The phone was stuck to my leg having melted through both my shorts and my Skins. It had to have been more than 100 degrees. I was on my own, writhing on the ground in agony.”
Clear said he wanted to leave the phone on the ground and seek medical treatment, but he had a second thought that the phone could cause harm to somebody else. He then waited for the phone to cool, before picking it up.
“I basically sat there for about 20 minutes because I wanted to take the phone with me. I used two bits of wood to pick the phone up, and by the time I walked back to Manly with the phone and my bike, so probably another 30 minutes, it had finally cooled down,” he explained.
When he finally got to Manly, his burns were so bad that people assisted him to get to the Royal North Shore hospital. There, he was referred to the burns unit of the hospital for a skin graft.
Clear spent six days attached to a machine, which sits inside the graft. The machine vacuumed out the dead, charred skin, encouraging new healthy skin to grow.
Clear revealed that his major concern, when the incident happened, was that the lithium from the exploded phone might have tainted his blood. But doctors later told him that the substance had not gotten to his blood.
He said: “I thought I’d been poisoned. When I got to hospital though, that was the least of my concerns. They told me I’d lost three layers of skin. I said ‘oh. Okay. Guess we’d better do something about that then.”
According to Clear, he will continue to ride his bicycle, but will never carry an iPhone with him. He advised people to be careful how they carry their iPhones because it is a disaster waiting to happen. He admitted the accident has been an eye opener for him.
He was quoted as saying: “It’s a tragedy waiting to happen. A mini bomb. 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.”
The Daily Mail reports that Apple, the iPhone manufacturer, has contacted Mr Clear to tell him that they are looking into the issue. However, the company has refused to answer further questions from the media on the incident.
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