This Galaxy S3 looks like it was hit with a missile [PHONE EXPLOSIONS]

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On today’s episode of “when phones spontaneously combust for no reason,” the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the latest to be subject to exploding phone syndrome. 18-year-old Swiss lass Fanny Schlatter was at work, doing what she normally does, when she said she smelt a weird chemical smell and began to see smoke. Before she knew it, flames apparently jumped out of her pocket and reached shoulder height.

Suffering third-degree burns, the only way Schlatter could prevent further damage (without a fire extinguisher handy) was to rip off her pants, but she was too shocked and frightened at that moment, and decided against it. Her boss insisted on doing it for her, and proceeded to extinguish said fire in a much less elegant way. What you see above is the result of all of that.

Honestly, when I first read this story I was surprised that this didn’t come straight out of The Onion. All of it sounds ridiculous, really — what kind of faulty phone could produce flames that can reach shoulder height? Why was her boss — presumably a male (but shoddy translation doesn’t help) — not equipped with a fire extinguisher, instead opting to enact an ingenious decision to rip off her pants?

I mean, we’ve heard of fake smartphone explosion stories before (you’re still not off the hook, exploding Motorola DROID 2 guy), and even those aren’t as farfetched as what apparently happened to this young lady. L’essentiel, a leading French publication, swears it’s true, though, so I guess we can’t challenge much of that.

Schlatter is said to be seeking a complaint against Samsung, which should at least take care of getting her a new phone and paying any medical bills she might have incurred. Take a look at the remains of what happened in the images above and below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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[via New Launches]

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  • John Ligons

    Well she’s obviously is a liar, since her pants were on fire.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Not saying she’s a liar, haha. Just questioning the validity of the exact account of the story. Shoulder-high flames just seems very unrealistic.

      • Unorthodox

        In Russian, we have a saying – The fear has big eyes. Everything is monstrously huge, when you’re startled. Hence the need to rip her pants off, after which they just had to have relief sex.

        • Sean Royce

          i”d like to rip her pants off ;)

      • John Ligons

        Hell, the moment I feel heat in my pocket I would’ve taken the phone out. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a prime example of this. When it had the radio issue, that phone would feel like freaking oven.

      • Anthony McKay

        She was probably holding it up to her shoulders and saying, “Look these flames are shoulder high!”

      • NexusKoolaid

        Depends on what the material was made of. Nylon, for instance, burns hot and can produce a good flame. The story is quite plausible, IMO.

      • antifud

        Uh, do you know anything about a: batteries, b: flammability or c: clothing? methinks not.

        all of the above can easily hit shoulder high flames – just not necessarily sustained flames. granted – perspective of the situation, etc.

      • EarlyMon

        I can assure that it’s not.

        I’ve done this in a lab on purpose testing materials.

        Cell phone batteries can and will burn much like a blowtorch – focused intense jet of flame – and the jet can easily extend a few feet or more.

      • Pain Reaper

        Imagine the size of the flames If it was a Note 2.. ;)

    • bob

      I wonder if they later found her hanging from a telephone wire?

    • Go Hawkeyes

      I just spit half chewed chips on my monitor. Thanks.

    • PhoenixPath

      You win, Sir. You win.

    • Anthony McKay

      Judging by the look on her face she needs to lighten up and look on the bright side.. she’ll be getting a hotter phone like the SGS 4!

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      1000 Internets for you

    • Janice S. Roberts

      like Peggy replied I am stunned that some one can profit $7972 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this site link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      To quote the insurance company commercial: “No mas pantalones”

  • Dan

    I’m calling BS on this one. Flames to the shoulder did it for me.

    • NexusKoolaid

      I take it you’ve never seen nylon burn.

  • KCSpence

    My thoughts are that they might want to take a look at both the battery and if there had been a 3rd party wireless charger back on it. (looks like there’s more to the back than just the plastic back, and it is definitely not a standard stock back.)

    I can believe the shoulder high flames depending on what kind of pants she was wearing.

    Overall, I dunno. *shrug*

    • Tommy Thompson

      looks like that to me too. That back isn’t the same material and has something extra attached, most likely wireless charging.

  • Mehdi Jaffery

    I’m assuming the boss didn’t use a fire extinguisher because most people first instinct is to get rid of the fire as quickly as possible with no rational solution. No one would think on getting a fire extinguisher but would just panic and do things the less elegant way.

  • GoAndroidForever

    She switched out the battery with a gas tank before gone to work on that day. LOL

  • jnadke

    Note she has an aftermarket carbon-fiber back.

    Wonder if it trapped more heat than the plastic, causing the battery to explode?

    • Kobi Donohue

      Maybe she did what many do, myself included. Covered it in “carbon fiber” vynil…

    • NexusKoolaid

      If that was a contributing factor then I’d think products like Otter Box cases and the like would make events like this a little more commonplace.

  • MSined
  • McT

    Perhaps the fireworks were triggered by that 4th of July app she loaded…. Oh wait, she’s Swiss….

  • AtomicGadget

    “[...] and any medical bills taken care of.”

    Hihi, that’s cute :-P

  • Ahhk

    Well, whether this is BS or not, I do have a odd issue with my Vzw S3 that I should mention – since it could be related.

    First of all, I run my phone VERY lean/clean. Most of the battery sucking crap is disabled. My battery easily lasts all day. With minimal use, I unplug around 8am and at midnight its usually around 65%. My battery stats show that about 80% of the drain comes from the display (set to almost max brightness)

    With that said, once every 2 – 3 months or so….the phone (while idle in my shirt pocket or on my desk) will suddenly start getting very hot and the battery starts draining about 10% per minute.

    I havent look at the battery stats while this was happening, but the phone does NOT lag at all during this “event”. Restarting the phone returns it to normal.

    My wife’s S3 has never done this. And she has so much crap running/installed that she can’t go 8 hours w/o needing to recharge.

    Strange. Huh?

    • Dan

      If you look at battery stats, this is most likely due to the ‘Media’. My wife’s GS3 and my Note 2 do that from time to time. It would drain my battery to 0% in an a few hours and the phone would run hot. We’re both on stock 4.1.2.

      My solution has been to use rescan media root and disable the media scan. I use the rescan media to rescan manually when I add new stuff.

      • Ahhk

        I’ll definitely look in to that, thanks. But it seems strange that a media scan would suddenly suck the battery like that for so long just to check for new files.

        I have a 64G card with probably 40G free and dont add/change files very often. I can watch 1080p video, or play a very intensive game, w/o the phone even getting warm. But, a media scan makes it burning hot? That just doesnt make sense to me – especially since it happens only once every few months.

        Hrmm.

  • Forever Phat

    Hit with an iPhone 5 :]

  • CerealFTW

    if she was ratchet maybe he would be more hesitant on pulling down her pants hahaha

  • uniquename72

    My S4 gets too hot to hold when I’m listening to music and get a phone call — I’ve learned (the hard way) not to answer it under those circumstances.

    If the S3 was similar, I could certainly see it melting, if not bursting into flames.

  • PedroAVazquez

    haha wow

  • No_Nickname90

    3rd degree burns? Oh my… That’s pretty painful. But something isn’t right. Wouldn’t some of her hair been burnt had the flames gotten that high? Also, how is the boss okay? He touched flaming pants.

  • http://twitter.com/Vanakatherock Vanakatherock

    I say we call in the Mythbusters to test the myth of spontaneous combustion phones.

    • GregRickson

      I agree let the Mythbusters have a go at it!

  • Rolf Kramer

    I live in switzerland, near the place where it has happend a few days ago. I saw the pictures of her burned leg, the skin is burned really bad. and did you know the lady is working as a painter, i mean painting houses & rooms and her cloths were full of this colours? that could be one of the reasons for the strange smell and for a faster burning. The flames were kind of green, like in chemical fires. And the boss stopped the fire by throwing water on her, there is nothing strange about it! And if you call her a liar, you call her boss, the doctors/ambulance team, her parents liars too, not to forget all the swiss newspapers and so on. Its scary to know that this could happen to you too, isn’t it? Thats the reason why most of you just make jokes about it and do not believe it… believe it or not, it is true.

  • Reg Joo

    My phone heats up, when it gets below 30%, so is it possible? Could it be because the phone is starved? The heat somewhat goes away once it reaches 14%. Someone should investigate this, run test, and post. Someone that can lose a phone, or two, maybe one of those tear apart/ smash sites, before they tear it apart, or smash it. Any fire marshalls out there?

  • Max

    my DROID 4 runs hot all the time, idles around 96 degrees Fahrenheit, if its in a mood or I’m playing a game or streaming music/video it’ll spike to 120-130, then it usually keeps restarts itself until its cooled down, I’m semi-hoping it melts itself so Motorola can replace this pos, damn my need for a qwerty!

  • allday28

    Ummmm Wouldnt she have felt it get hot in her pocket long before it went up in flames!!?? I mean its gotta get pretty fricking hot before it starts on fire. I call BULL@#$%!!

    • Max

      youd be surprised how fast my phone starts heating up just in normal operation, with thick jeans on it can go from cold to maybe its warm to pretty hot in a few minutes, (realizing that with jeans it can easily be 20 degrees or more hotter than your leg is feeling)

  • JBrowne1012

    Hmm… strange the body of the phone is still solid while its the back cover that has most damage… My theory is she used a 3rd party NFC battery door and possible battery it got hot but she ignored it in her pocket due to work and with Jeans the heat is actually less noticeable but also less breathable… so…

  • Jim Dandy
  • Iirta Elias

    My husband I both have the S3; The phone they are showing does not look like our phones at all. To me it looks like the motorola atrix which my husband use to own. I personally believe that there would be no battery cover left if it were the S3. But thats just my point of view.

  • MrBig Red

    Serves her right for being on Facebook during work! Puts a new spin on “Hot Pants” though. When is the X rated movie version coming out???

  • MrBig Red

    The boss probably had her ankles pinned to her ears; pants were down around her knees, which were bent back by her shoulders, add some friction from the boss and hence the flame! I surmise the who-wah is Double-jointed!!!

  • socalrailroader

    She had a fish on her leg?

  • Ronit L

    This phone looks trashed….. I faced the same situation sometime back with my Galaxy S3 but was able to replace it with a great deal at Mydeals247.

  • kirstie Eames

    This is terrible and if samsung have had anymore reports on this an immediate recal of the phone should be made.