(Adds Transportation Department saying owners will not be fined
for attempting to board with phones, background on problem)
WASHINGTON Oct 14 Samsung Galaxy Note 7
smartphone devices will be banned from aircraft in the United
States starting on Saturday at noon EDT (1600 GMT) under an
emergency order, regulators said on Friday after numerous
reports of the devices catching fire.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd scrapped its flagship
Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on Tuesday because of incidents where
the phones began smoking or caught fire, dealing a huge blow to
its reputation. The decision came after reports of fires in
replacement devices prompted a new round of warnings from
regulators, phone carriers and airlines.
The order from the U.S. Transportation Department and other
agencies bars owners from carrying on the devices or stowing
them in checked baggage during flights.
"We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will
inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those
aboard an aircraft must take priority," said Transportation
Secretary Anthony Foxx.
"We are taking this additional step because even one fire
incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury
and puts many lives at risk."
The Transportation Department warned that passengers who
packed the devices in checked luggage raised the risk of "a
"Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal
prosecution in addition to fines," the department said in a
The agency said that the phones might be confiscated from
passengers attempting to take them onboard, and that people
found onboard with the phones might face fines.
In another statement issued late Friday, the department
clarified that owners who attempt to travel by air with Samsung
Galaxy Note 7 devices would only be "denied boarding."
The world's largest phone maker this week said it was also
expanding a U.S. recall of the fire-prone model to a total of
1.9 million Note 7 phones, including the 1 million Galaxy Note
7s it recalled on Sept. 15.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday
the Note 7's battery "can overheat and catch fire, posing
serious fire and burn hazard to consumers."
It added that Samsung had received 96 reports of batteries
in Note 7 phones overheating in the United States, including 23
new reports since the Sept. 15 recall announcement.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz; Editing by Tom
Brown and Richard Chang)