On April 11th 2017, the CEO of Kirusa, (Kirusa is a company that provides the InstaVoice App and services that are offered by the Nigerian mobile operators including MTN, Airtel, and Etisalat) Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick had a harrowing incident when his MacBook emitted smoke and melted in the middle of Lagos Airport while he was trying to catch a flight back to New Jersey — the MacBook in question is a MacBook Pro Retina Display 13.3″ (2015), Model #A1502.
After passing through the security checks, he heard several people pointing to his laptop bag and shouting. In his words:
I looked down and was bewildered to see smoke coming out of my Rollaway laptop bag. I panicked, and as I turned the bag upside down, my smoking hot MacBook Pro came out on the floor. All this took a few seconds before I saw and heard a security officer dashing to my bag, and asking me to step back, and step back more, and stand still, as more officers got to the scene.
The security officer, who is also a bomb squad expert, emptied and went through every item in his bag, once he was certain there was nothing of concern, he focused on the MacBook, which was still scalding hot, with some of the keys melting and coming off, and also showing signs of black smoke, as can be seen in the picture.
After then, the security officer took control of the MacBook, his iPhone (He was allowed to take a couple of pictures of the MacBook before handing it over) and Passport, he was also subjected to different rounds of questioning by the head of the bomb squad, FAAN airport security and other security personnel. He was asked questions like: “What was he doing, why did the laptop get burnt, why was he in Nigeria, what does he do in Nigeria, when did he arrive, where is he going, how long has he owned the laptop, what did he do to cause it to get hot and smoking, and so on”
Once they were satisfied, he was told that the laptop could not go on an airplane for safety reasons. According to him:
It was a harrowing and scary incident, yet I must admire the courteousness and professionalism of the Nigerian security teams, and especially the bomb squad officer and the head of the bomb squad. In hindsight, how they reacted, resolved, and conducted themselves is the reason I suffered no harm.
He, however, complained about Apple’s response to the whole situation. In his words:
What is flabbergasting is when I reached home in NJ and reported the incident to Apple’s customer care team their response was perfunctory and alarming. While saying they take safety very seriously, they refused to do anything until I get the laptop in my hands in the USA, even after being told that the airport security ordered that the laptop cannot be taken on an airplane. If Apple took product safety seriously, I would expect they would investigate the product in Nigeria, without risking putting a defective product on a plane again.
Here is a screenshot of the message from Apple.