Sunday, March 19, 2017

NO BULL: iPhone chargers should carry warning, coroner says, after man electrocuted in the bath

Richard Bull

Telegraph Reporters 18 March 2017 • 1:59am

A coroner is to warn Apple that iPhone chargers can be potentially lethal after a man was electrocuted in the bath.

Richard Bull, 32, was charging his phone next to the tub when it accidentally fell into the water.

He was found by his wife Tanya, who thought her husband had been attacked because his burns were so severe.

She made a distraught call to the police, who found that Mr Bull had used an extension lead from the hallway of his Ealing home so he could use the phone in the bath.

He was getting ready to go out to meet family members to exchange Christmas presents when the tragedy happened on December 11.

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings said: "This was a tragic accident and I have no reason to believe at all that there was anything other than it being completely accidental.

"These seem like innocuous devices, but they can be as dangerous as a hairdryer in a bathroom. They should attach warnings.

"I intend to write a report later to the makers of the phone."

Richard's mother Carole said: "I have worried that so many people and especially teenagers, that can't be separated from their phones, don't know how dangerous it is."

His brother Andrew said: "When you are younger you are taught about electricity and the bath, but you don't think about this.

"I still find it hard to believe that between the charger plug and the phone would be enough electricity to kill someone."

A keen rugby player, Richard captained amateur side Old Actonians RFC as well as playing for Ealing Exiles.

PC Craig Pattison told the inquest at West London Coroner's Court how he found the extension lead running from the hallway outside into the bathroom.

"We found an iPhone plugged into the extension cable and then the charger element in the bath," he explained. 


iPhone electric shock reportedly kills Chinese bride-to-be
China Southern Airlines air hostess Ma Ailun, died at her home in China after answering a call on her iPhone 5 as it charged.

Ma Ailun is believed to have died from an electrical shock received when she answered her charging iPhone 5 Photo:

By Rhiannon Williams

4:07PM BST 15 Jul 2013

The 23-year-old collapsed after picking up her phone and was rushed to a hospital in Xinjian, but medics were unable to revive her. She had been planning to wed on August 8.

A doctor who attended Ma following her death told the Wall Street Journal that her neck had obvious signs of electrical injury.

Her brother, Yuelun, told Apple Daily that the family believe she died from a large electric shock during a phone call, and that the family has handed the phone and its accessories to the Chinese authorities.

Ma's sister insisted the iPhone had been purchased from an official Apple store at the end of last year, and that the charger was also produced by Apple.

She also posted a message on Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, saying: "I want to warn everyone else not to make phone calls when your mobile phone is recharging".

Apple China has launched an urgent and thorough safety investigation into the handset following the incident, adding: "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the family.

"We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter."

It takes 35 volts for a person to feel an electric shock, and the average mobile phone's electrical output is between three and five volts. However, a break in the circuit or faulty components could create a shock of 220 volts.

A man in northeast China was killed by an electric shock whilst speaking on a handset that was being charged by an unauthorised charger in 2010, according to the China Consumers Association.