Safety concerns surrounding the reliance of cell phone batteries have been thrust into the spotlight this week following the tragic news of the death of a Chinese labourer who was killed when a phone battery abruptly exploded while in his breast pocket.
According to a report posted by the Associated Press, official Chinese state media news agency Xinhua has confirmed that welder Xiao Jinpeng died from sustained injuries on June 19 while working at the Yingpan Iron Ore Dressing facility in Gansu Jinta.
Bai Shixiong, an official from the county public security bureau, further revealed to Xinhua that a Motorola handset had been responsible for inflicting substantial injuries that Xiao later died from while undergoing emergency treatment at a nearby hospital.
However, the outlining of Motorola’s product as the implement of Xiao’s death has not sat well with the American mobile phone giant. Specifically, a Beijing representative for the Illinois-based company has since claimed it to be unlikely that one of its handsets was the cause of the accident. The spokesman in question went so far as to suggest that perhaps Xiao Jinpeng had been using a fake Motorola handset and/or cell battery and not an authentic product.
"Up to now, preliminary evidence suggests it is highly unlikely that a cell phone caused this accident," said Motorola press officer Yang Boning regarding the welder’s death. "We are working with the Chinese authorities to determine and investigate the root cause." Boning also confirmed that a special investigative team from Motorola had been dispatched to Gansu Jinta in order to assist local authorities.
Xinhua’s report describes how workmates recall Xiao Jinpeng collapsing to the floor when his cell phone exploded in the extreme heat of the plant. The handset explosion broke several of the man’s ribs, sending fatal bone fragments directly into his heart.