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Plane Evacuated after Samsung Phone Fire as Firm to ‘Review’ Split Plan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this July 28, 2016, file photo, a color blending feature of the Galaxy Note 7 is demonstrated in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

A passenger’s overheating, smoking Samsung smartphone forced the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines jet that was preparing to take off Wednesday from the Louisville airport in the U.S. State of Kentucky.

The incident raised fresh trouble for Samsung, which saw its new Galaxy Note 7 device recalled last month because of overheating batteries.

Some 60 percent of U.S. consumers had swapped their devices for replacements by the end of September.

Samsung, Southwest and federal aviation-safety officials declined to say what model of Samsung phone was involved, stressing they were still investigating.

But an Indiana woman, Sarah Green, told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that it was her husband’s Galaxy Note 7 that made popping noises and started to smoke after he powered it down while the plane sat at the gate.

Her husband Brian Green told ABC News that his device was a replacement.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics responded warily to a proposal by U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management to split the South Korean tech giant into two companies but markets cheered the plan, sending its shares to a record high.

“We will carefully review the shareholders’ proposals,” the technology conglomerate said in a terse one-line statement, with its spokesmen declining any further comment.

Entities controlled by Elliott, the hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, own about 0.62 percent of Samsung.

In a detailed proposal unveiled on Wednesday, Elliott laid out a strategy for streamlining Samsung, splitting the company in two, dual-listing the resulting operating company on a U.S. exchange and paying shareholders a special dividend of 30 trillion won ($27 billion).

Elliott argued that Samsung, currently a maze of listed and unlisted companies with a notoriously opaque ownership and management structure, had suffered from a long-term undervaluation in the equity market.

The proposal saw Samsung’s share price close the day up 4.45 percent at an all-time high of close to 1.7 million won.