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Phnom Penh man electrocuted to death as iPhone charged, say police

A melted iPhone and charger sit on a table at a house in Phnom Penh's Kok Banteay village after it electrocuted a village chief on Sunday. Photo supplied
A melted iPhone and charger sit on a table at a house in Phnom Penh's Kok Banteay village after it electrocuted a village chief on Sunday. Photo supplied

Phnom Penh man electrocuted to death as iPhone charged, say police

Police said a Phnom Penh village chief was electrocuted as he slept on Sunday afternoon with his iPhone resting on his chest.

Prey Sar commune chief Khan Sokhai said the victim, identified as Kim Pov, 44, returned home after taking his wife to the market, and took a nap. He was found dead by his daughter at 4pm.

“We suspect that he died from electrocution because his iPhone and its cable were destroyed,” Sokhai said. “His charger may not be the original Apple product.”

Sokhai said the commune had experienced a power outage that morning, and speculated that the surge of current passing through the cable when power was restored might have contributed to the fatal shock.

Kao Damaityna, marketing manager of iOne, the leading Apple retailer in Cambodia, declined to comment on this case but said she had not received any complaints or heard of similar electrocution incidents from customers.

The death comes on the heels of at least two other iPhone-related cases: the first, in which a Chinese stewardess died after answering a call on an iPhone 5 that was connected to a third-party charger; and the second, in which a Chinese man went into a coma after being electrocuted while connecting his iPhone 4 to a counterfeit charger.

In 2013, responding to safety issues caused by counterfeit adapters, Apple launched a global program to replace third-party chargers with its products, emphasising that “customer safety is a top priority at Apple” and that its products “undergo rigorous testing for safety”.

Apple could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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