Skip to main content

Apple to probe smartphone charging death mystery

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
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
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT