iPhone 4 catches fire on plane

A probe has been launched after a passenger’s iPhone mysteriously caught fire on-board a plane as it came into land.

The Apple iPhone 4 model started smoking and glowing red before self combusting on the Australia’s Regional Express Flight ZL319 destined for Sydney on Friday, according to flight attendants.

As black smoke filled the cabin, cabin crew rushed to put out the fire. A photo taken after the incident shows the back of the smartphone looking as though it had melted away.

Regional Express said in a statement: “Regional Express flight ZL319 operating from Lismore to Sydney today had an occurrence after landing, when a passenger’s mobile phone started emitting a significant amount of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow.

“In accordance with company standard safety procedures, the Flight Attendant carried out recovery actions immediately and the red glow was extinguished successfully.”

After landing in Sydney, the phone was handed over to officials from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as well as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for investigation – which claimed that they had no previous records of iPhones undergoing spontaneous self-ignition.

Nobody was hurt during the incident.

An Apple spokeswoman in Australia responded saying the tech firm was looking "forward to working with officials”.

Apple devices have caused trouble before, with a reported six iPods catching fire in Japan last year leaving four people with minor burns.

[Related story: iPod Nanos recalled over fire risk]

Only two weeks ago, first generation iPod Nanos were recalled by Apple over fears that their batteries can catch fire - with the firm also offering a free replacement.