Getting charged

graphicfromdailymailoniphonedeathWe constantly hear warnings about the dangers of using our phone while driving or even while filling up at the gas station, but hardly ever do we hear about the dangers of using our mobile phones while they are charging.

But now it’s time to sit up and take note as two persons in China are now victims of a very dangerous yet common practice.

The first was 23-year-old Ma Ailun from China’s western Xinjiang region and a flight attendant with China Southern Airlines. She was electrocuted when she answered a call on an iPhone while it was charging.

At first I thought the whole thing was another Internet hoax until Apple released a statement saying there were “investigating an accident in which a Chinese woman was killed by an electric shock when answering a call on her iPhone 5 while it was charging”.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter,” Apple said in an e-mail.

However, Apple declined to comment on whether this was an isolated case, but this was later answered when just four days later reports of a 30-year old Chinese being put into a coma from his iPhone 4s.

Some reports indicated that Wu Jiantong was simply plugging his iPhone 4 in while others report he was using it, before he apparently shouted “I’m being shocked!” and then collapsed. His sister rushed into the room to help him, and unplugged the iPhone, and she felt “needle-like pains” in her fingertips consistent with electrocution.

Although they are many inconsistencies with the reports, some saying the victims were using 3rd party chargers, others saying Ma was wet and had actually gotten out of the bath tub to answer the charging iPhone, the fact remains that both were using phones which were being charged with dire consequences.

There are many online health and safety facts and websites that point to the dangers of this practices, it’s just a shame more isn’t said about it, and there isn’t a mandatory warning or advisory placed on mobile phones about this danger. Maybe it will take a few more deaths.

I urge you however to please minimise use of your mobile phone while it is being charged.

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