A fire hit a flat in Choi Hung Estate after a Chinese-made electric scooter exploded while being charged early Monday.
About 200 residents of the public housing estate were evacuated, Apple Daily reported.
A 31-year-old resident, surnamed Au, said the Segway-like electronic scooter, also known as hoverboard, exploded while she was charging it at home.
Au said she regrets her decision to buy the scooter in Lo Wu, a shopping district in Shenzhen at the border, for HK$1,800 two weeks ago.
She said she read the instruction manual carefully before charging the hoverboard for the first time near the entrance of the flat on the 7th floor of the estate’s Kam Wah House, where she has been living with her mother and younger brother for more than 10 years.
She started charging the hoverboard at around 3 a.m. and expected to complete the process in two to three hours.
However, at around 5 a.m., the scooter emitted a strange sound, prompting her to pull the plug on suspicion that there might be a problem with the battery.
But it was too late because the scooter suddenly exploded and caught fire.
Au and her family managed to get out of the flat before calling the police, who then arrived and evacuated about 200 residents from the building.
The fire was put out after 30 minutes with no one injured.
The Au family has to stay temporarily in another flat arranged by the Housing Department in the same estate.
Cheung Sing-wai, an electrical and electronics engineering associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, told Apple Daily that the type of hoverboard used by Au is prone to catching a fire as the output of the charger, according to the instruction manual, is 42 volts while its battery can only take a maximum of 36 volts when charging.
He warned against buying such hoverboards, noting that a close look inside the machine revealed that it contains thin and strangely connected electric wires while its plastic case is both fragile and flammable.
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