Rechargeable battery explodes in camera

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 December, 2009, 12:00am

The Customs and Excise Department is investigating after a rechargeable battery exploded in the bedroom of a Chai Wan flat yesterday, the second such incident in four months.

The Camelion AA rechargeable battery was one of two inside a digital camera when it exploded in the flat in Yiu Tsui House, Kai Tsui Court, in Siu Sai Wan Road. No one was injured.

The owner, a 48-year-old man surnamed Yeung, woke to find the battery compartment of the camera, which was resting on a table, blown open and one of the batteries on a chair. The remains of the exploding battery were still inside the compartment and debris was scattered on the table and chair.

'It seems the blast was quite strong as the cover of the camera's battery hold was broken open and one end of the exploded battery also flew off,' Yeung said. However, the sound failed to wake him.

The batteries were recharged on Monday and the camera was used on Tuesday. The camera was left on the table early yesterday after photographs were transferred to Yeung's computer. Yeung said the batteries were bought for HK$50 from a shop in Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, about a year ago.

Officers from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department were sent to the flat to investigate. As rechargeable batteries are not a fixed electrical installation, the department spokesman said the Customs and Excise Department would take over the investigation.

APower Holdings, the local agent for Camelion products, was not available for comment yesterday.

On August 16, a police officer suffered injuries to his neck and eye when a rechargeable AA battery he was holding exploded in his Mei Foo Sun Chuen flat. He had heard a strange buzzing sound and detected an odd smell coming from a set of recharging batteries, and one exploded when he picked them up to check.