The battery inside an Apple iPad exploded in an Apple Store over the weekend, causing an evacuation, the fire brigade to attend, and several people to complain about respiratory issues. The incident took place at the Apple Store located in Leidseplein Square in Amsterdam, one of three official Apple stores in the Netherlands.
It’s believed a “leaking” battery pack overheated and caused the explosion, according to a member of the local fire brigade. There was apparently no smoke or fire involved, but three members of staff at the Apple Store complained about breathing problems. An ambulance attended to assist them. Local news outlet AS Media said the evacuation caused “panic,” and shows a photo of the location with the public waiting outside the store.
What remained of the iPad and its battery was safely placed in a container filled with sand, and the fire department decided the area would be safe for business once it had been completely ventilated. The Apple Store opened again late on Sunday afternoon. It’s not clear if the iPad was a model on display for use by the public or if it was a model in for repair. The immediate presence of a sand-filled container, and only staff being afflicted by fumes, does suggest it may have been in the workshop, rather than out in the store itself.
This is at least the third example of battery fires or small explosions happening in Apple Stores around the world this year. An iPhone battery exploded in the Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland, in January, which also saw employees require medical treatment. Soon afterward, another battery exploded in an Apple Store in Valencia, Spain. On that occasion, the incident was dealt with by staff, and no emergency services attended. There have also been reports of iPhone batteries exploding after being damaged, or when replaced by nonauthorized Apple service centers, potentially using third-party replacement parts.
Despite these reports, lithium-ion batteries are used without a problem by millions of people around the world, but risks increase when they aren’t used properly. The London Fire Brigade advises you to always use the included charger and cable, or to buy genuine replacements, and not to leave phones connected to a charger unattended for long periods of time.