BEIJING: In the first such case, a Chinese youngster was killed when the battery of his Motorola cell phone exploded, police in northwest China’s Gansu Province confirmed on Wednesday.
The accident occurred at noon on June 19, when welder Xiao Jinpeng was working at the Yingpan Iron Ore Dressing Plant in Jinta County, Gansu Province.
The cell phone, a genuine Motorola, in his chest pocket suddenly exploded and Xiao, 22, died at a local hospital after emergency treatment failed, commissar with the public security bureau of Jinta County, Bai Shixiong said.
The initial investigation showed the phone battery exploded after being exposed to a high temperature, breaking Xiao’s ribs and penetrating into his heart, Xinhua news agency quoted police as saying.
“We haven’t ruled out quality problems with the battery induced the tragedy, but other causes remain possible,” Bai said.
Local police and work safety officers are still trying to ascertain the model of the phone and the battery, and whether they had any quality problems. An investigation report is expected to come out in a couple of days, the official said.
Many Chinese handset users, who are familiar with fake or low-quality accessories, are demanding an immediate reply from relative departments and Motorola about whether the explosion was caused by battery defects or improper use of the phone, the report said.
The local work safety administration temporarily recorded Xiao’s death as a work safety accident as the explosion occurred at the workplace, about 800 km west of the provincial capital, Lanzhou.
However, it is waiting for the investigation results to ascertain direct responsibility. A team of representatives of Motorola are expected to arrive at the site today to help the investigation.
Exploding cell phone batteries were very rare, a public relations official at Motorola’s China branch said. However, Motorola was taking the incident very seriously and would respect the results of the investigation.
Experts said quality defects, frequent overcharging, short circuits and exposure to high temperatures or flammable materials could lead to battery explosions.
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