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Report: Cell phone explosion may have killed man

South Korea police found melted cell phone battery in victim's shirt pocket

November 28, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Editor's note: The South Korean construction worker referred to below was actually killed in an industrial accident. See follow-up story.

Police in Cheongwon, South Korea, said a worker died Wednesday possibly because a cell phone battery exploded in his pocket, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The report quotes an unnamed police official as saying, "We presume that the cell phone battery exploded," but the official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The man was identified only as Suh, and was found dead at his workplace in a quarry Wednesday morning with a melted cell phone battery in his shirt pocket, according to the report.

The AP quoted the Yonhap news agency as saying Suh's body was examined by Kim Hoon, a doctor, who said that Suh suffered a burn in the left chest area and had a broken spine and ribs. "It is presumed that pressure caused by the explosion damaged his heart and lungs, leading to his death," the report quotes Hoon as saying.

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. reportedly made the phone involved in the death, although the report quoted an LG official who said that a fatal explosion from the phone or its battery would be virtually impossible.

An LG spokeswoman said the company is investigating the report and would only confirm that the phone is not sold in the U.S.

Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.



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