NEW BEDFORD — An apparently malfunctioning cell phone is being investigated after it burst into flames in the hands of a New Bedford middle school student on Wednesday.

The student was taking part in an after-school program at Normandin Middle School on Wednesday afternoon when the cell phone the student was holding began emitting sparks, according to Arthur Motta, Community and Public Affairs Manager for New Bedford Public Schools.

The student dropped the phone, which then caught fire.

A facilitator immediately stomped on the phone, extinguishing the flames.

Members of the New Bedford Fire Department responded to Normandin Middle School. The Fire Investigator examined the phone, which is now in the custody of the school.

No injuries were reported. The incident is under investigation.

While no official explanation has been given, it's possible that the cell phone contained a faulty lithium-ion battery.

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