According to reports, a 16-year-old boy has died after being electrocuted by his mobile phone as it charged in his home near Rembau, about 90 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Police say that the teen’s mother returned home at 12:45pm, and found the boy motionless on the floor.
Earlier that morning, the 51-year-old woman was on her way to work when she noticed her son lying down on the floor of the house. At the time, she suspected that he has merely fallen asleep, and left. However, while at work she felt “uneasy” over having seen him sleeping, and she decided to go home to check on him.
Finding him in the same position as when she has left at 7:45am, she reported that his body was cold to the touch when she tried to wake him.
A medical officer was called to the scene, and he reported that no bruises or injuries were reported on the teen’s body, only bleeding coming from his left ear. Concluding that the boy was wearing his headphones while the phone charged, a postmortem at Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital confirmed that the cause of death was related to electrocution.
Earlier this year, a Brazilian girl died under similar circumstances, using headphones on her charging telephone. At the time, her family revealed that a lightning storm had passed through the area. A postmortem showed that the current caused the earbuds to effectively melt in her ears.
Injuries and accidents caused by power surges while mobile phones are charging are not uncommon, and by now we should all know a few tips to keep us safe while using mobile devices. Namely, try not to use your charging phone. Plugged into a wall, the live socket could deliver up to 230 volts of electric charge, which could be leaked by a loose cable, or inferior quality charger than the one the manufacturer gave you. If you must, use a powerbank – they only go up to five volts, which isn’t enough to electrocute you. Also, never charge your phone or your powerbank near a wet source like a bathroom, or swimming pool. That 230-volt charge could travel from the mains, along the water, to you. Finally, if your phone or seems to be having electrical issues, have checked out by a professional.
This article, Teen electrocuted while using headphones on plugged-in mobile phone, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.