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Beijing man in coma in second iPhone electrocution case

  • Ho Chia-yun and Staff Reporter
  • 2013-07-19
  • 17:32 (GMT+8)
An iPhone and charger. (Photo/CNS)

An iPhone and charger. (Photo/CNS)

A man in Beijing is fighting for life after being electrocuted while charging his iPhone 4, the second such case reported in China this week, according to the Chinese-language Beijing Evening News.

Wu Jiantong has been in a coma for more than ten days after the incident occurred on July 8. His sister Wu Jianxiang said she had heard him screaming that he was being electrocuted. As soon as she had turned around, he had collapsed, she said.

Wu Jianxiang said she saw her brother convulsing on the floor with his lips turning purple. She immediately unplugged the charger but also felt an electric current as she did so.

Earlier this week, 23-year-old flight attendant Ma Ailun died after reportedly suffering from an electric shock while talking on her iPhone.

Both Ma and Wu were using a charger not manufactured by Apple. A reporter at the Beijing Evening News found that there was a three millimeter metal part that was not covered by any insulation material in the fake charger.

Tang Fanwei, an engineer at an Apple-authorized company, said the accidents may be related to the use of an unauthorized and substandard charger. He said that when a phone is being charged, a regular phone charger drops from 220 volts to 5 volts. The human body can tolerate an electric shock of up to 36 volts, he said.

Tang added that some fake chargers instead direct the 220 volts of electricity to the cell phone and this could place the user at risk of electrocution if the metal part of the charger was not properly insulated.

Another engineer in Beijing disagreed, however, saying that even inferior chargers use industrial insulation materials. There may be another explanation for Wu's accident, he said.

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