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Feds Ban Galaxy Note 7 From Air Transportation Over Fire Fears

The federal Department of Transportation and other agencies branded the phones, which can catch fire, a "forbidden hazardous material."
Image: A Samsung Note 7 handset after catching fire
A Samsung Note 7 handset is pictured next to its charred battery after catching fire during a test at the Applied Energy Hub battery laboratory in Singapore on Oct. 5, 2016.EDGAR SU / Reuters

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has been grounded.

Branding it a "forbidden hazardous material," the federal Department of Transportation issued an emergency order Friday banning the allegedly combustible devices from all U.S. flights.

"Individuals who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device may not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States," the DOT directive states.

Also, the phones "cannot be shipped as air cargo."

"If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, the phones may be confiscated and passengers may face fines," according to the ban, which goes into effect starting Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration joined the DOT in announcing the ban. The ban affects both original Galaxy Note 7 phones and replacement Note 7 phones.

Related: Think Samsung Is Bad? Check Out These Recalls

It was the latest embarrassment for the South Korean electronics giant, which on Tuesday announced it was discontinuing the phone just two months after its launch. The move came after two recalls and numerous reports of the device exploding or bursting into flames.

The FAA on September 8 strongly urged travelers not to turn on or charge Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cellphones while on planes over the risk of exploding batteries.

Related: So You Still Have a Galaxy Note 7? Here Are Your Options

Samsung urged customers to turn in their devices for a refund or exchange them for another smartphone. It also announced it would be sending fire-resistant packages to its U.S. customers as a precaution.

Currently, Samsung is the world's smartphone leader. It controls 22.6 percent of market while its top rival, Apple, has 11.6 percent, according to second quarter figures released by the International Data Corporation.