Hoverboard Bursts into Flames on L.A. Sidewalk

A man riding a hoverboard in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles got quite a shock Wednesday when the board he was riding suddenly “exploded” beneath his feet and burst into flames.

Delvon Simmons told local CW affiliate KTLA5 that he was riding his board on a sidewalk while following a police officer who was pulling someone over. When he passed the officer, he looked down and noticed the board was smoking.

“Well, it happened. My board just caught on fire today,” Simmons said in a video of the incident provided to the outlet and posted on Facebook.

He later added a warning: “People, if you’ve got one of these in your house, I suggest you get it out.”

A Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman told KTLA 5 that firefighters responded to a call about the burning hoverboard in the 900 block of South Vermont Avenue around 11:20 a.m. Firefighters were able to extinguish the burning board safely and no injuries were reported.

The hands-free motorized scooters made for popular Christmas gifts this year, but a sales ban on cheap, knock-off iterations of the board due to safety concerns from major retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com has reportedly seriously damaged the manufacturers in China that make them.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating at least 10 cases of hoverboards spontaneously catching fire, NBC News reported earlier this month. A spokeswoman for the agency told the outlet that it would conduct its investigation quickly due to the toys’ popularity around the holidays.

Also this month, the United States’ three major airlines banned the devices from both checked and carry-on luggage, citing the risk of fires. Smaller carriers like Spirit Air, Allegiant and Virgin America also banned the boards.

 


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