August 20, 2018 | News Brief | An Apple store in Amsterdam’s Leidseplein square was briefly evacuated after an explosion believed to be the result of an overheating iPad battery, Gizmodo reports. Leaking vapors has been reported to be the cause of the overheating. Firefighters were called in, and three people had to be treated for respiratory issues. The device was dealt with by Apple store employees, who put the device in a container with sand.
Apple, like most major manufacturers, uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in their devices, as they’re compact in size and capable of holding a lot of energy. However, lithium-ion batteries are prone to exploding if the thin, interal polypropylene layer that keeps electrodes from touching is breached or the flammable electrolyte inside gets too hot, situations that can be the result of production error, damage, design flaws, off-brand chargers, or just bad luck.
Apple has historically had problems with batteries—such as its iPhone throttling fiasco and expanding MacBook batteries—but fires and dangerous overheating have generally not been at the top of the list.