Man says iPhone exploded in pocket - KMOV.com

Man says iPhone exploded in pocket

LINDENHURST, NY (WABC/CNN) - For Erik Johnson, it's hard just to explain what he's been through. It's just that hard to believe.

"My iPhone blew up,” Johnson said. “And everybody's answer is, 'What?'"

His iPhone was in his pocket on Valentine's Day when he says it spontaneously exploded.

“I bent over to get keys and all I heard was pop and… smoke coming out, and just like an instant burn, my leg just starts going on fire, try to get it out, can't get it out,” Johnson said. “I was literally jumping up and down trying to get the phone out of my pocket, but I had dress pants on. I think the phone melted my pockets shut so I couldn't get into it and I had to rip my pants off. A couple of people actually said they could smell my body burning."

With second and third degree burns on his inner thigh, he spent 10 days in the burn unit before finally getting back home Tuesday.

The damage is obvious on the front of the iPhone 5c. But you really have to turn it over to see just how hot it got.

The metal case is warped. It's now stuck to the phone. And as hard as it might be to believe that this happened, it turns out that from time to time, smart phones explode.

"There have been millions if not billions of phones sold in the last year, the rate of incidents is marginal, it's infinitesimal,” said Ronald Gerber, CEO of Angelbeat.

But Gerber says the tiniest bit of damage to a phone's circuit board, or the use of third party charging devices, can cause the battery to overheat and spew lithium lava.

"I guess, like, when you're branding a bull or something like that that's what it felt like. It really did,” Johnson said.

But in this case, Johnson says he used an apple cable for his iPhone.

"Obviously Apple has to take a closer look at what they're putting out in the stream of commerce before they go out and sell these items that could potentially be this dangerous,” lawyer Mike Della said.

“I just want my leg back to what it was,” Johnson said.

Apple says it's looking into the case.

Copyright 2015 WABC via CNN. All rights reserved.

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