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September 13, 2016

NJ Transit: Don't use your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while riding with us

Samsung issues recall after reports of phone battery exploding or catching fire

Thinking of whipping out your new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while riding New Jersey transit? Think again.

NJ Transit officials strongly urged its customers Tuesday to not use or charge the phones while riding the transportation system's trains, buses, light rail vehicles or in its stations.

“We are asking our customers who have the Galaxy Note 7, to simply turn it off before entering an NJ TRANSIT facility or boarding a vehicle.” said interim Executive Director Dennis Martin in a news release. “Because of the uncertainties surrounding this device, we are issuing this precautionary advisory to ensure the safety of all of our customers.”

Samsung, based in South Korea, recalled the cell phone in the beginning of the month after many users reported their phones' batteries spontaneously exploding or catching fire.

Released in mid-August, Samsung is pulling the cell phones from stores in 10 countries, according to The Associated Press. Owners of the Note 7 phone can switch out their current phones at the end of September. 

The company made the decision after 35 cases were reported. More incidents have surfaced since the announcement, including that of a 6-year-old boy -- who suffered burns Sunday after the phone exploded in his hands as he watched videos. 

Though there's no clear indication of which batteries could be hazardous, Samsung said that out of the 2.5 million sold around the world, about 142,000 have a battery that could explode.

The recall comes at a difficult time for Samsung – on Friday, users can buy Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that features a faster processor, two digital camera lenses, and no analog headphone jack.

“NJ TRANSIT is urging our customers to do the responsible thing and heed the manufacturer’s advice to power down the Galaxy Note 7,” said Gardner Tabon, Chief of NJ TRANSIT’s Office of System Safety in a news release. “This is especially critical when riding a transit system along with hundreds of thousands of others.”