US government bans defunct Galaxy Note 7 from all flights citing fire threat

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On Friday several U.S. safety agencies banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from flights, all but killing the usefulness of the smartphone for the few people willing to hold onto it in spite of fire risks.

The Department of Transportation issued an emergency order blocking the Note 7 from all flights starting at noon Eastern time on Saturday, even if a unit is completely shut down. This includes checked and carry-on baggage, as well as cargo flights. The ban is being supported by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Note 7 has been labelled a "forbidden hazardous material" under Federal Hazardous Material Regulations. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx issued a statement, saying that "even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."

In practice, there are likely to be increasingly few Note 7s in the wild. Samsung halted production earlier this week, and even prior to that was telling people to stop using the phone. Owners are being offered refunds and exchanges, including monetary credit in the U.S. Widespread media reports have painted the device as inherently dangerous.

Dozens of Note 7s have in fact caught fire across the world, even after Samsung issued a recall and attempted to fix the problem. The company is expected to lose at least $5.3 billion in profits as a result.