A 30-year-old Chinese man, Wu Jian Tong, has fallen into a coma after being electrocuted by a charging iPhone. The news comes less than a week after reports of a Chinese air hostess killed whilst answering a call on her own charging iPhone.
Wu reportedly yelled “I’m getting shocked” after connecting his iPhone 4 to a charger. His sister rescued him by pulling the charger – later found to be a counterfeit or third-party product – from the socket.
"I then felt needle-like pains on my fingertips. The current was running from my finger, through to my arm and body, and to the foot,” said Wu’s sister. At this point her brother had become unresponsive, spasming and foaming at the mouth.
When an ambulance arrived on the scene Wu was not breathing, and paramedics had to resuscitate him as well as pry open the fingers of his left hand, which had clamped shut on the iPhone.
After taking him to the hospital Wu was found to be in a coma, albeit in a stable condition. “It was no doubt an electric shock," said Wu's doctor at Beijing’s Hai Dian Hospital.
In a response to the incident Apple have said: "It was with great sadness we learned through press reports that a Beijing customer was injured while using a "knock off" or counterfeit charger and we are looking into this further."
"Our customers' safety is very important to us and we have carefully designed all Apple products to meet government safety standards. We recommend our customers only purchase Apple products from Apple or authorized Apple resellers."
Some reports have also suggested that counterfeit charger was also responsible for the earlier death of air hostess and bride-to-be Ma Ailun.
After Ma's death Chinese citizens argued back and forth on the internet regarding the threat posed by charging iPhones. Ma's sister tweeted the incident, saying "I want to warn everyone else not to make phone calls when your mobile phone is recharging."
Early reports over Wu’s electrocution suggest that a counterfeit charger, not Apple, is responsible. Such items are often poorly constructed with inadequate insulation, and the Chinese government are well-known for their inability to stifle counterfeit markets.
Local papers also reported that on the day of Wu's electrocution it had been raining and the air inside the house very humid – factors that would have exacerbated the danger from the charger.