RIM Promises ‘Exploding BlackBerry Curve 9320’ Investigation

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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RIM says it will investigate an incident which saw an 11-year old boy burned by an exploding BlackBerry

RIM has confirmed it will carry out an investigation following reports that a BlackBerry Curve 9320 spontaneously combusted, injuring an 11-year-old boy.

Kian McCreath suffered burns to his leg after the smartphone set fire to his duvet and mattress at his home in Coventry.

His parents have called for the smartphone to be recalled ahead of Christmas, but RIM has said it will conduct a full review as soon as the remains of the BlackBerry have been made available to it.

Exploding BlackBerry investigation

Kian’s mother told The Coventry Telegraph that the phone had been charging on the landing, but that she placed it on his bed as an alarm was set. Shortly afterwards, she heard screaming and was able to put out the flames before Kian was taken to Coventry University Hospital. The BlackBerry had been bought as a present for Kian’s brother Mason only two weeks previously.

RIM has confirmed it has spoken to the boy’s father, while Vodafone has offered the family a replacement device. Peter McCreath, the boy’s father, is currently in possession of the charred remains of the device.

“RIM takes claims of this nature very seriously and a senior member of our team met with the family today [4 December] to initiate a full investigation into this matter,” a spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “In order to proceed with this investigation, we require the products that were involved in this incident to be made available for a full technical review.”

“At this point in time, the family has not provided RIM with the battery or charger for analysis and have said they are unable to locate the device itself,” they added. “We have a team on standby to conduct this investigation as a priority as soon as the family makes these products available to us.”

The news will be particularly unwelcome for RIM, which is preparing to launch its, hopefully non-explosive, range of BlackBerry 10 smartphones in January. However, the company is adamant that its products are safe.

“RIM is committed to ensuring our products are safe and we invest significantly in R&D and testing to ensure we meet or exceed all regulatory standards here in the UK and around the world,” it said.

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