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A phone explodes in a Rushmore Mall employee's face

(KOTA)
Published: Oct. 18, 2018 at 3:48 PM CDT
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Christiaan Barrera, Cell's Fashion sales manager, fixes cell phones daily, but on Sunday, work turned into a scare when the battery blew up in Barrera's face.

"I opened it up and seen that the battery was kind of swollen up," says Barrera. "It was kind of like the blueberry chick from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like it was pretty bad. That's just from heating up and kind of wear and tear on the battery."

The explosion injured his thumb and shreds of the battery left his arm scarred. Barrera says they are not major injuries, but they are inconvenient.

"You don't realize how much you use your thumbs until you actually need them," says Barrera. "Anytime I tie my shoes or use the store keys to open and close things and just to grab or grip anything, can't really do much without your thumb. I just try to avoid using it at all cost."

The battery problem is common and Barrera says he's seen it before on the model phone he was working on -- an Iphone 6.

"More of a common problem then people think. That's why I was kind of shocked that it happened just cause I have done it a hundred times before," says Barrera.

After the incident, he says he called Apple who told him that the batteries are defective. Barrera advises people to take action if they notice their screen is popping out.

"It's probably time to get either a new phone or send it in to actually Apple so they can either send you a new phone or so they can handle their batteries," says Barrera. "They did tell me its a defect in their batteries. Anytime they swell up like that, you know get exposed to heat or even cold. So extreme cold can actually do the same thing to it."

Barrera advises people to never leave their phones in the car... too much heat from the sun directly hitting the phone in a heated car can cause the phone's battery to swell and possibly start a fire. Too much cold is not good either, so keep phones away from the snow. Barrera says he is still traumatized but has no problem fixing any customers' phone.