The man, Mr Suh, was found dead in a Cheongwon quarry 90 miles south of Captial City Seoul with a melted mobile phone battery in his shirt pocket, according to a South Korean official.
"We presume that the cell phone battery exploded." Added the official.
A doctor examining the body said: "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken. It is presumed that pressure caused by the explosion damaged his heart and lungs, leading to his death."
Police said the mobile in question was made by LG. A company official confirmed this, adding that LG "would not comment directly on the incident because the cause was not confirmed" but added that it was "virtually impossible" for a battery to cause these injuries.
It is widely known that counterfeit batteries are abundant in ASIA and the surrounds as we reported earlier in the year with a similar incident – Exploding Motorola? - http://www.mbmagazine.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2479&Itemid=62
Unlike our previous report this poor chap was found in a quarry, quarries use explosives, man suffered fatal injuries from an explosion and happened to have a mobile in his pocket (which was found melted after the explosion, however caused).
We’ll let you decide on this one.
UPDATE – 30th November 2007 (LG Press Department)
LG has confirmed that the recent accidental death of a 33-year old construction worker in Korea had no connection to the company’s handset or battery, in contrast to previous media coverage.
The victim’s colleague, who was also the first witness, has been charged with manslaughter. The suspect confessed to the police that he had unintentionally hit the victim with a 15-ton hydraulic drill (!!??) rig while driving in reverse, and that this was the cause of death.
The initial false statement by the suspect was an attempt to cover up his actions, and led to the unfair assumption by the media and the general public that an LG product was somehow the cause of this tragedy.
This undeservedly damaged the company’s reputation for more than a day. Last night, the police reported the true nature of the incident, and this morning they requested an arrest warrant for the victim’s colleague.
LG rigorously tests all the products not only for functionality and design, but safety as well. The company had earlier reaffirmed that the lithium-ion polymer batteries used in LG handsets had been approved for consumer use by a number of independent testing agencies.
As a responsible company, LG is fully committed to providing the best products with uncompromising quality under all circumstances.
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