Skip to main content

Apple to probe smartphone charging death mystery

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ma Ailun, 23, was picking up her iPhone to answer a call when she was electrocuted, Xinhua reports
  • Police have yet to say whether her phone was involved as they continue their investigation
  • Apple: We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter

Hong Kong (CNN) -- U.S. electronics giant Apple is investigating reports in China that a woman died after being electrocuted while trying to make a call with her iPhone 5 while it was charging.

Ma Ailun, a flight attendant with China Southern Airlines, was picking up her handset to answer a call last Thursday when she received an electric shock, police said Sunday, in reports carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Police, who are continuing their investigation, have not yet identified a cause -- whether the phone or anything else.

In a statement received by CNN, Apple said: "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."

Why did Apple apologize to China?
Why is China upset with Apple?

Many have taken to to social media to question how the 23-year old from China's far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region died.

"(I) hope that Apple Inc. can give us an explanation. I also hope that all of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging," a person identified as Ma's sister posted on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service.

Meanwhile, Ma's father, Ma Guanghui, said that his daughter was electrocuted, adding that her body showed signs of electrocution, Xinhua said.

But Monday's Xinhua report also pointed out that mobile phones have a low output of only 3 to 5 volts, which isn't enough to harm the human body.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT