Apple Store evacuated after incident involving iPad battery in shop

Andrew Griffin
The first Apple Store in the Netherlands opens its doors in Amsterdam, on March 4, 2012. Hours before the opening there was already a long line of Apple fans waiting to shop on the Leidseplein: ADE JOHNSON/AFP/Getty Images

An Apple Store in Amsterdam had to be cleared after an iPad exploded in the shop, according to local reports.

The battery inside the tablet appears to have caught fire and create a dangerous situation inside the store.

It was quickly secured and placed into a bucket of sand to ensure that any fire was contained. But because of the potential for dangerous vapours to be released the store was shut down and three people were treated for breathing difficulties, the local fire department tweeted.

There was no fire or smoke and no serious injuries, according to Dutch website iCulture. The store has since re-opened after the incident, which took place on 19 August.

Apple said it was continuing to investigate the cause of the incident and that the store had been re-opened.

“We’re currently investigating the incident that took place at Apple Amsterdam on Sunday," a spokesperson said. "Our staff were able to evacuate customers quickly and safely and the store re-opened shortly afterwards.”

Website 9to5mac suggested that the problems, which have been accompanied by similar issues in other Apple stores, could be a result of Apple's roll-out of its battery replacement programme. That allows people to have their old batteries swapped out for relatively cheap, but could also mean that the stores are handling more out-of-date batteries – which because of the delicate balance of chemicals inside can very easily become dangerous when damaged.

Apple began offering the cheaper replacement programme after it emerged that it was throttling older devices' performance if their batteries became degraded. It said it was doing so to stop the devices from shutting down and to protect users, but the outcry led Apple to announce that it would swap the batteries out and restore performance for a relatively cheap price.