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The case of the exploding BlackBerry

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By ANDY DOLAN

London - A schoolboy was injured after a BlackBerry smartphone exploded and set the end of his bed alight while he slept.

Kian McCreath, 11, has been scarred after the handset blew up in the middle of the night, leaving melted plastic from its casing stuck to his leg.

On Wednesday his parents branded the Curve 9320 handset “dangerous” and called on BlackBerry maker Research In Motion to recall the model while an investigation takes place into what caused the incident.

The Curve model is a budget smartphone popular among teenagers who are drawn to the free BBM message service offered by BlackBerry.

It was bought for Kian’s brother, Mason, as a 13th birthday present a fortnight before the blaze at the family’s home.

The two siblings share a bedroom at the house in Holbrooks, Coventry, and the fully-charged phone exploded moments after their mother, Sarah, 39, had taken it off charge and placed it on Kian’s bed.

Mrs McCreath said she couldn’t sleep and spotted the phone at around 2.30am on the landing as she went downstairs for a drink. She added: “He’d set an alarm on the phone so I unplugged it and took it through to their bedroom.

“I plonked it on Kian’s bed because his was nearest to the door.

“I thought nothing of it, made a cup of tea then I heard a really loud pop sound. Kian started screaming at the top of his voice, shouting ‘my bed’s on fire!”’His feet had pretty much been engulfed in flames.

“I ran into the room and started battering the flames with his brother’s quilt to put them out. The bed was charred and the phone itself was just a blackened shell. My son could quite easily have died.” Kian, who was treated at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, following the incident on November 25, is now “wary” of using his own Samsung phone, she added.

His father, Pete, 39, who bought the £99 handset as part of a £13-a-month contract, has held a video conference with executives from RIM, based in Canada, over the issue and officials from the firm arrived at the family’s home to examine the handset.

Mr McCreath said: “I want them to be recalled. That handset is dangerous and it needs to be tested. A lot of the kids are raving about that BlackBerry phone right now.

“My main concern is the safety of other kids.”

A spokesman for RIM said it was the first case of its kind that it was aware of, adding: “We take claims of this nature very seriously and are investigating this matter as a priority.”

In August it was reported that the Curve 9320 had risen eight places to become the sixth most popular handset in the UK. - Daily Mail

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