Apple Store in Amsterdam Evacuated, Likely After iPad Battery Overheated

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Dutch media is reporting that an Apple Store at Leidseplein in Amsterdam was briefly evacuated today, likely after an iPad battery overheated.

Image Credit: AS Media

At 2:20 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon, the Amsterdam fire department tweeted that crews were on the scene. The tweet added that there was "no smoke" at the store, but "three people with breathing problems."

A spokesperson for the fire department said "there is probably a leaking battery pack," according to Dutch broadcaster AT5 and NH Nieuws. The incident was also reported by Dutch blog iCulture, which alerted us to the story.

Employees immediately placed the iPad in a container with sand, and the store was evacuated as a precaution, according to the reports. The three people who suffered breathing issues were treated on site by ambulance workers.

The breathing issues may have been prompted by chemical vapors or other irritating substances emanating from the iPad battery, according to the Amsterdam fire department, which aired out the store while it was evacuated.

Fortunately, there does not appear to have been any significant injuries or damage. At around 3:00 p.m. local time, employees and customers were allowed to re-enter the store as usual, according to the reports.

It's unclear if the iPad battery pack was an official part from Apple or an aftermarket replacement, or if the potential overheating was the result of improper handling during servicing by a Genius Bar technician.

Earlier this year, an Apple Store in Zurich was evacuated following a similar incident with an overheated iPhone battery.

All in all, these incidents are quite rare, but a very small percentage of lithium-ion batteries do pose a risk of overheating, swelling, and bursting open. Without additional details, it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause.

We'll update this article if Apple comments on the incident.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
26 months ago
Hey Siri, you're on fire.

"Here's an article discussing a boar that's tired."
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
iPad warranty immediately voided...

Apple: “Sorry, we don’t warrant devices which have been immersed in sand. We found particles of dirt and sand inside your device when we opened it to examine the battery.”

Customer: “But you did that”

Apple: “We don’t recall the incident that you speak of. Apple products do not have those kinds of battery issues. Your battery problem was caused by corrosive chemicals in the dirt we found in the contacts.”
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

Bucket of sand! Good idea, will have one ready the next time I swap an idevice battery.

It's standard procedure. I work for a UK AASP and all apples service manuals instruct you to have sand available when handling parts or devices that could suffer a thermal event. I've seen it used and it actually works really well to smother the battery / device and stop a runaway event.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

A thermal event is classic corporate speak :)

Sorry, you get so used to speaking like it. I don't think it would go down too well if I came out of the service areas and shouted "Did someone order their iPad extra crispy?" ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Is Apple sourcing batteries from Samsung now? I wonder if this will be featured in Samsung’s next Ingenious ad. :rolleyes:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

A thermal event is classic corporate speak :)

It certainly is. But then, a more incendiary term would only inflame emotions. :)

Seriously, if you have a location crowded with members of the general public, the staff often uses code words in order to avoid a general panic. The security/public safety staff at a stadium or airport has a whole list of such code words. Each conveys specific meaning and triggers specific procedures.

In this specific example someone announces, "Thermal event." The staff knows exactly what's happening, and they take well-rehearsed steps to address the specific problem. (They bury the thing in sand, isolating and dampening the runaway chemical reaction while it runs its course. Traditional fire extinguishers are ineffective for this kind of thing - they're designed to temporarily deny oxygen to open flames.) Staff can then evacuate the area without risking the panic that might ensue if they'd simply shouted "FIRE!"
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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