A 23-year-old girl from Shijiazhuang, Hebei province was killed instantly by her phone while simultaneously using it to play games and make a call as it was charging.
On March 13, a post began circulating on Weibo which read “A girl in our village was electrocuted and died while playing on her phone while it charged. Please, everyone, don’t use your phone as it charges!” Journalists from Hebei News began investigating and found out that the girl in question was a 23-year-old named Xiaozhao from a village outside Shijiazhuang.
According to reports, on March 4 while in a rented room, Xiaozhao had put her phone on to charge and then started to use it to play games while taking a call from her boyfriend. During their conversation Xiaozhao suddenly became silent. Fearing something bad had happened, he quickly rushed over to her accommodation, only to discover her lifeless body. On her chest he noticed a large scorch mark near her heart.
While the precise cause of death is as of yet unknown, professor Liang Guangchuan from Hebei University of Technology said that there was indeed a possibility that electricity could have jumped from the phone. “When charging the phone, the voltage is much higher than usual. If you also use the phone to perform other operations, such as making a call, the voltage will be several times higher than normal.”
Despite the make and model of the phone involved not being disclosed, the professor added that using poor quality phone chargers and old phone batteries would also increase the risk of accidents happening. He told journalists that when charging their phones, people should always avoid placing their phone anywhere damp.
Accidents involving charging mobile phones are all too common in China. In 2013 a man from Beijing ended up in a coma after being electrocuted by his iPhone 4. Last October a Sichuan resident’s mobile phone exploded while she was charging it on a bus.
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via 21cn.com // oeofo.com]