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Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the hate-when-that-happens dept.

Cellphones 287

LingNoi writes "A man in Korea was found dead at his workplace Wednesday morning and his mobile phone battery was melted in his shirt pocket. No one knows for sure yet but a doctor who examined the body said, "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken" We have heard of other dangerous battery products here on Slashdot." Update: 11/30 17:34 GMT by Z : Turns out the melted battery was the least of his worries; he was actually hit by a truck.

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FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506069)

I am a fish, and my cellphone doesn't work underwater.

Grain of Salt Required? (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506087)

An LG official confirmed its product was involved in the accident but said the company would not comment directly on the accident because the cause was not confirmed. However, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to company policy, said such a fatal explosion would be virtually impossible.

I'd like to know just how big that battery was.

Kim Hoon, a doctor who examined the body, said the death was probably caused by an explosion of the battery. "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken," Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

Broken ribs and spine? Ok, this man was found in his workplace (a quarry.) Isn't reasonable to assume something else broke those ribs and spine and whatever did that also damaged the phone and battery?

The cell in my Razr could probably take off a finger or two if it exploded from pressure, but a spine is a rather hard thing to break, let alone ribs, unless this was a very, very small man.

This sounds like something from The Weekly World News, the Sun or News of the World.

Next on Fantastic Nooz: Scientist proves earth was created by asteroid collision with Moon, not the other way around. IAU rocked by the revelation and immediately reinstates Pluto as a full-fledged planet, with all rights and privileges. "Smaller bodies should have rights!", proclaim cosmologists.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (5, Funny)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506131)

In Korea, exploding cellphones are only for old people.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (0, Redundant)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506459)

Oh come on, that one was funny.

The reference was to this
In Korea, Email Is Only For Old People [slashdot.org]

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506721)

This is the /. meme Police. Step out of the thread sir. *Tazed*

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506893)

This is the /. meme Police. Step out of the thread sir. *Tazed*
In Soviet Russia, cell phones explode with frickin' sharks attached to their heads.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506747)

Must be lots of offended old Koreans reading /.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506141)

Heh, yeah. Sounds like something out of Blood Money - A cell phone packed with a smidge of explosives!

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506333)

I heard that the Mossad actually used that on a Palestinian terrorist once. Presumably he said "hello", and they said "goodbye" before sending the "detonate" command....

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506443)

A small pack of high-grade explosives up against your ear is not the same thing as a battery in your shirt pocket.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (4, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506453)

Well, it's certainly demolished. Pictures. [naver.com]

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506733)

I'd just like to say "thank you" for posting a photo link that WASN'T goatse.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (4, Funny)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506191)

...unless this was a very, very small man.
His job in the quarry was to hunt rats. He has a tiny spear, and special shirt with a gigantic (for him) pocket sown into the back to carry his cellphone, which is essentially the largest thing he carries.

Did I mention that he's a minature dwarf spider monkey? Hmm...probably not important.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (3, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506229)

I'd have to agree with you. It doesn't seem that the mass of a battery (or a cell phone in general) would be high enough to do the damage described in the article.

Maybe the cell phone battery exploded, he started to panic because it burned, and he fell on a table edge and broke is back.. ribs break easily so just a normal fall could cause that.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506243)

Very good analysis. The doctor most likely does not understand the tech involved in a cell phone battery to determine that it could explode like that.

Given pictures/videos of exploding laptop batteries that have been shown in the past, I'm not sure one of those could even break the spine through the chest of a small child let alone adult. And using the worst case against my argument, even the larger cell phones out there (such as blackberrys, and iPhones) are the size of laptop batteries and smaller. Even if it was entirely battery, a modern phone shouldn't have this kind of force, should it?

Here's a thought, the phone battery goes, possibly breaks the rib(s), he falls, and breaks his spine (and possibly rib(s)) in the process.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506337)

"Broken ribs and spine? Ok, this man was found in his workplace (a quarry.) Isn't reasonable to assume something else broke those ribs and spine and whatever did that also damaged the phone and battery?"

He probably fell after it exploded. Unfortunately, the article's not too clear on that.

"He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken," Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

"It is presumed that pressure caused by the explosion damaged his heart and lungs, leading to his death," it quoted him as saying.
I'll grant you that where they slipped it in is confusing, but the doctor doesn't mention the ribs or spine.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506345)

How old was the battery? I read somewhere that some older li-ion batteries use lithium chlorate dissolved in ether as as an electrolyte, which is also a pretty decent sprengel explosive.

Actually (4, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506369)

unless this was a very, very small man.
He was actually found in the pocket of another, normal-sized man.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506375)

I have read (note that I am not a chemist) that the energy density of a lithium battery is close to that of the explosive in a grenade. The difference is that the grenade releases its energy all at one, while a lithium battery deliveres it a little at a time over hours/days (if all goes well).

Note that I said energy density. This takes into account the volume, and cell phone batteries are rather small. So a cell phone battery will have a lot less energy than a grenade, just because it is smaller.

A quick google search turned up this link. Search down for the word "grenade": http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2007/2/28/20539/1486 [fieldlines.com]

OK. I admit that this is not an authoritative source. But, look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density [wikipedia.org]

The energy density of some explosives is about twice (when compared on terms of weight, not volume) that of a Lithium-ion battery. Once you add the weight of the metal around the explosive, it seems reasonable.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506631)

Interesting info!

Also, one of my pet peeves with 'snopes' is that they say that cell phones can't/don't cause gasoline vapour to explode [snopes.com], however their analysis and science behind the statements is based on the theory that the only way for this to happen is for the radio signals to cause some sort of spark.

However we all know that improperly charged NiCd and Lithium ion batteries can explode by themselves - what happens if your cell phone explodes when you are at the gas pump filling your card with gas?

Strangely, snopes.com never responded to my email stating this question...


Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506925)

Don't be too hard on them for that. Batteries exploding is still very rare. When it happens, it makes the news. The odds of any person's phone exploding is extremely low. The odds of that happening during the 10 minutes a week when they are filling up is negligible.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (2, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506999)

Nothing. Mythbusters actually did good work on this one. You've got to have the fuel-air mix just right, or even a spark plug won't light it. There are really only two places where the cell could ignite fumes. One is right next to the fuel port, and the other is on the ground in a puddle of gasoline.

Both assume that you're pretty sloppy with the nozzle. Like Zoolander sloppy. There's supposed to be a vapor hood over it for pollution reduction, which would also reduce the fuel in the air around the nozzle.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (4, Insightful)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506471)

I agree. I think we have two coupled events here:


The phone battery failed causing him to fall or get in the way of something, resulting in the broken ribs and spine.


He fell or was stuck, resulting in the broken ribs and spine. The impact caused the phone battery to fail.

2 seems far more likely than 1. Having a battery blow up in a shirt pocket and leaving a burn on my chest is not going to break my spine. An explosion in my shirt pocket that is powerful enough to break my spine is also going to blow my chest tissue off, blow my ribs into my lungs and heart, and do a lot of other damage.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506797)

Not only is it far fetched to say that exploding batteries are likely to kill someone, but there have been many instances where exploding batteries have actually saved people's lives. One of the side effects of the new gadget culture is that when people are struck by lightning, the current flows to the battery contained in a cell phone, ipod or whatever the person has on them causing the battery to explode. And while the victims sustain major burns from the explosion, on many occasions this prevents much of the current from traveling through the heart/brain and actually helps the victim survive.

So it stands to reason that if people can routinely survive a battery explosion under extra-ordinary circumstances (where the battery is conducting an extra 1.21 Jigawatts ;-), an explosion under ordinary circumstances would be that much more unlikely to kill someone.

Re:Grain of Salt Required? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506841)

This sounds like something from The Weekly World News, the Sun ...

[Sigh] And we don't even get photos of space alien offspring or a page three girl.

New pocket protectors? (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506097)

At least he didn't have it in his pants pocket... He might have survived but his future children would not have.

differences (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506105)

The difference between real media and slashdot:

"Exploding cell phone battery may have killed South Korean man: officials"
"Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills"

Can anyone spot the difference in the meanings?

Re:differences (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506739)

They just left off the end of the headline. It could have been "Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills?" or even "Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills: 0" Give the hard-working Slashdot editors the benefit of the

Re:differences (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506769)

Honestly I don't see the difference between the too, because I read them the same way. Any time I read or hear something second hand, I know for a fact that the information is being relayed to me through an unreliable and prejudiced device known as a human.

So maybe to you those headlines mean to different things to me they mean one thing: someone somewhere thinks a cellphone battery killed someone.

I'm inclined to think that person is an idiot.

Re:differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506861)

Heh, and where is the personal insult that would have been pouring if it was zonk or some other than taco, eh? ;-)

Oh well. Taco, you suck like the rest of them. But that never stopped us from coming here and posting so...

Re:differences (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507121)

a few CNN headlines for fun...

# Hunt for missing wife focuses on blue barrel
    Police officer's wife found in blue barrel, barrel lost.

# CNN/YouTube debate to be circusy smackdown
    CNN + YouTube sponsoring Clown Wrestling Federation

# Vick to pay $1 million for dog care
    Dog fighting man buys expensive poodle

# Israel, Palestinians: Peace is possible
    Pease agreements signed by Israel and Palestinians

# Deputies killed by fellow officer in chase
    Police officer goes on rampage

# Ticker: Romney abortion claim called 'offensive'
    Romney claims he's not an abortion that lived

# Robo-armor gives soldiers super strength Video
    Super soldiers kill all in their path

# WWII-era bomb explodes in blueberry field Video
    British/German war on the horzion

# 6-year-old boy sleeps with 20-foot python Video

It's actually a fun game to go to a news site and "slashdot" the headlines.

Only burned his chest, but broke his spine? (4, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506123)

So it did nothing more than cause a burn on his chest, but the pressure was high enough to break his ribs and spine? Does anything seem odd about this?

Re:Only burned his chest, but broke his spine? (5, Insightful)

matria (157464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506251)

More likely a fall, which broke the ribs and spine and damaged the phone which "exploded". My husband fell in a similar situation, landed on his left side, but had his large walkie-talkie in his pocket. It cracked his ribs and destroyed the walkie-talkie; the fall would have smashed his ribs if he hadn't had it in his pocket.

Re:Only burned his chest, but broke his spine? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506655)

I think we have a winner for the most reasonable explanation for this otherwise implausible story.

In a Related Story (3, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506133)

Just in time for Christmas!
Kevlar-Asbestos Universal Cell Phone Carrier
$29.99 plus S&H

Re:In a Related Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506719)

So you'll die of mesothelioma from the asbestos instead of the battery exploding. Nice.

I know what happened (4, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506137)

He had one of those phones you shake to see how much liquid is in them, which indicates battery life. His was empty, so he filled it up with gasoline.

Shouldn't that be "allegedly kills"? (2, Insightful)

Chris Lindquist (1181221) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506157)

Heck, even post notes that "No one knows for sure yet..."

Re:Shouldn't that be "allegedly kills"? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506425)

You must be new here... Half the fun of slashdot is being shocked at the stories, then after you actually read them, you become shocked at either:

a) How the editor missed that spelling mistake.
b) Why this is even news
c) How blatently misleading the title is.
d) the fact that now you have nothing to read at work, and have to wait for the next misleading post.

Re:Shouldn't that be "allegedly kills"? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506803)

Yes. Or "apparently kills." Saying the cellphone battery killed the man -- without a disclaimer word such as "apparently" or "allegedly" -- sets Slashdot up for a libel suit from the cell phone manufacturer if they lose sales as a result of the /. article and investigation finds it wasn't the cell phone battery.

This is one good reason why anyone who calls himself a journalist should know one of the major wire services' stylebooks, e.g., the Associated Press Stylebook, inside and out. It's handy for little tips like grammar, spelling and "how to avoid being sued for libel."

Fan? (4, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506167)

Are we certain he was not in a closed room with a fan [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Fan? (1)

caldaan (583572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506919)

I hadn't actually heard of this belief, but it would seem that a similar thought process or cognitive disonance is at play here.

Like someone else said, people dying only from blast damage die of internal organ damage, something that would show up in an autopsy. The bones are strong enough to withstand the shockwave without breaking. A laptop battery exploding in a pocket can not break the spine while leaving a simple burn on the mans chest.

So why would any reputable doctor think of such a thing? Well if you believe that leaving a fan on in a closed room decreases the temperature of the room, you will believe almost anything.

There is a device, I forget what it is called but it can actually chill air with a simple air vortex. The caviat is that a hot air stream is also produced out the back end. Which make sense because the conservation of energy is required. Plus, no one is going to sleep near one of these things because they are too freaking loud.

I really doubt this (5, Insightful)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506185)

The guy worked in a quarry. He's found with broken ribs and a broken spine. Having suffered broken ribs and a broken spine, myself, I can say that it takes an *enormous* amount of force to do that. If the cellphone had exploded with sufficient force to break vertebrae, there'd be a big hole where his chest was and no sign of the cellphone.
Much, much more likely is that he was struck by something large, that broke his back and ribs, and also crushed the cellphone, rupturing the battery compartment and making the battery melt from short-circuiting itself.

People killed by dynamite blasts don't have broken vertebrae, even when the shock wave has torn their hearts loose from their arteries.

Re:I really doubt this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506277)

Or, his cellphone shorted, he panicked, jumped, whatever, and fell, breaking his bones. He was in a quarry, which I always picture as a big hole in the ground.

Re:I really doubt this (1)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506619)

Isn't it equally likely that (since we was working in a quarry) his battery melted in his pocket, and the shock made him fall backwards onto a rock? Or off a rockface? TFA is sparse on details but if his spine was broken I would expect a fall to have been involved.

Beating out of your chest (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506201)

Laptop batteries, and now cell phone batteries? Just wait until pacemaker batteries start to explode..

Lithium (0, Troll)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506267)

It probably was a lithium battery.

The point isn't whether people shouldn't puncture their cellphones, but that the cellphone should have some kind of protection for when these accidents happen. Sigh, I remember the old times when the worst thing that happened was that you got an acid burn in your skin...

Re:Lithium (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506489)

Ahh, the good 'ol times... When a cell phone LITERALLY weighed as much as a brick, and yet the charge still lasted only a day.

He was found in a quarry... (2, Informative)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506203)

It is also possible that he was struck by a piece of heavy equipment, which, in addition to breaking his spine and ribs, also ruptured the cell phone battery. The ruptured battery then shorted out and melted.

I find it very difficult to believe that a cell phone battery could contain sufficient pressure break a person's spine and ribs. Unless, of course, said battery was packed with explosives. (And yes, this has been done before - by the Israelis).

Re:He was found in a quarry... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506373)

(And yes, this has been done before - by the Israelis)
I'm assuming that this is the part that caused the parent to be modded "Flamebait". But if it's true, can that be? If it's a factual statement that contains no political innuendo, than how can it be "Flamebait" except to people whit exceptionally thin skin (in which case they shouldn't be surfing Slashdot anyway)?

Re:He was found in a quarry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506527)

how can it be "Flamebait"

It's flamebait because even if it is true, it has nothing at all to do with the Korean guy, and the only reason to mention it specifically would be as bait for pro/anti-israeli flames.

If it had been a bomb in his cellphone, the news would be "bomb in cellphone kills Korean dude", I'd hope they'd be able to tell the difference.

Re:He was found in a quarry... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506749)

Actually, I was under the impression that the Israelis were proud of the fact that they killed a person with this technique. I mentioned it because I anticipated that there would be those who would claim that a cellphone was too small to contain enough explosive to kill anyone, not because I wanted to start an Israeli-Palestinian flame fest.

Hmmm... But now that I think about it, is it possible to suicide-bomb an internet discussion? Could someone flame in such a flagrant manner as to destroy their karma to the extent that they no longer virtually exist? Would getting your IP banned from /. count? Or could it be argued that because /. banned you, that it wasn't true virtual suicide, but rather, virtual homicide? I digress...

It is probably flamebait (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506645)

First clue, no link to prove it. Second clue, totally unrelated to the story. Third clue, wrapping explosives around a cellphone won't do shit. Fourth clue, cellphones as part of a remote detonator system have been used widely, by terrorists. They are highly unreliable, why should one of the most advanced military forces use it? There are better methods.

It is probably flamebait because of the way he mentions it. Trying to inject an unrelated matter into the discussion.

I've heard this one! (4, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506225)

The answer is, he was hit forcefully on the back with a club made of ice, which shattered. He fell on one of the shattered pieces, piercing the cell phone battery causing it to melt. The ice melted, leaving no evidence of what had happened...

Doesn't seem plausable (1)

demopolis (872666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506289)

Ok, say it did actually explode. I can see having burn marks on the chest and MAYBE a broken/bruised rib, but a shock wave from the explosion traveling through the body cavity and breaking the spine? I'm not a physicist, but that really doesn't seem plausible given the source of the explosion.

Koreans are small.... (1)

jflo (1151079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506313)

I will say this, via my experience living in Korea (over a year in length for the Army)... koreans are actually much smaller than the average american, and most of them have to have the biggest cell phone they can find....... now it is unlikely that a bettery could've caused damage this severe, but its not impossible considering some of the dangerous things koreans do. Nothing is funnier than seeing an old Korean man driving a Kina Bongo filled 10 feet w/ garbage above the cabin, cruising an 100 kph. Personally, I think the old man was drinking Sojo a little to hard, fell down some stairs, and along the way, the cell phone blew up.

Also today (5, Funny)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506355)

A man was found dead in Canada. He died from apparent bullet wounds to the skull.

Police have a sony laptop in custody.

Murder? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506379)

We've heard of cell-phone bombs before, with an explosive device taking the place of part of the battery, but they are usually used to deliver a killing blow to the victim's head, not chest. They were also more practical before the phones got quite as small as they are now.

This is just silly. The guy got killed, and his phone got smashed too.


Remote exploit (3, Funny)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506381)

In the future: hackers find out that re-programming a phone to radically fluctuate its power consumption in the same pattern that in flashing lights induces seizures in gamers, within five minutes, causes the battery to detonate and eliminate the target.

Five minutes later, government denies it has *ever* heard of such a thing, and it would never do it, even if it knew how.

Five minutes later, the reporter who broke the story dies in a mysterious cell phone explosion.

Note to Manufacturing (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506397)

Note to Manufacturing:

Take the semtex out of the battery casing and blame any problems on China. Sorry guys, but that's the wrong kind of plastic.


LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506421)

Do not slosh the chemicals around to see if your battery is flat.
You could cause massive injury if the binary chemicals mix.

Yeah... Newton's Law (5, Insightful)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506465)

For every force, there is an equal and opposite force...

So the exploded battery broke his ribs and spine, but couldn't muster enough force to rip the shirt pocket? Give me a break.

Man in quarry dies and it was his phone? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506503)

Phone explosion was probably caused by some 50-ton rock hitting the guy in the chest. I don't see how anything as small as a phone battery could shatter ribs unless it was traveling at a tremendous rate of speed, i.e. if someone replaced his battery with c-4 and detonated it, then maybe.

Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506511)

Cell phone battery explodeds and causes him to have a fatal accident. This would be like having the cell phone battery blow up while driving down the freeway, you wipe out and get into a fatal accident. The battery didn't cause you to die but it was the cause of you dieing.

aw man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506525)

aw man. in NZ we only had a person who only woke up to his cell exploding. all he got was a fright and soem battery shaped singe marks on his carpet.

Stupid Stupid Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506537)

This is just stupid. I've had a LG cell phone
for years and I've never had any pr

Warning: lame pun ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506547)

A serious defect like this will surely end someone's Korea at LG Electronics...

Alien anyone? (1)

CaligarisDesk (1189113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506587)

So the alien is about to explode through his chest, breaking his ribs and spine, but stops short. Somehow, it gets cut and spews its acid blood, burning the man's skin. It seeps to the man's pocket where it explodes the cell phone, taking the alien's remains with it. Expect an expedition into the quarry to determine the location of the face-huggers.

I can't believe no one has pointed out (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506595)

That the man worked in a quarry and the injury may have been caused by something else... ;)

More 'n likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506611)

Given the sparse facts in the report, it sounds more likely to be some sort of electrical accident with large amperage. Either lightning or a catastrophic short in some sort of electricity supply at the quarry would be a possibility. The melted cell phone would be incidential to the event (i.e., a result of, but not the cause). It is likely to be one of the sources of contacts due to the least resistance.

Yeah, right, the cell phone did it. (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506629)

If I found a dead body in a mine that had broken ribs and spine, my first suspect would be the cell phone. I certainly wouldn't consider the possibility of something damaging the cell phone battery and causing it to short and overheat causing the burn while at the same time also breaking bones in the guys body. You know there is no heavy equipment or explosives in mines that could cause damage to people.

Scratching Chin (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506633)

It's difficult to believe that a telephone battery could store enough energy to do that much damage. They tend to get hot, then the plastic softens and releases the pressure. Ask anyone who blows up batteries for kicks :)

It's much more plausible -- especially in a quarry, where there tend to be things like explosives, heavy plant and big lumps of rock -- that some other accident broke his ribs and spine, and did for his mobe at the same time.

I would think more likely... (2, Interesting)

etiam.maior (1115499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506943)

...that if indeed the 'melting/exploding battery' came _first_, then he likely snapped his OWN ribs and spine reacting to it. i've seen such things come from grand mal seizures, and the involuntary muscle spasms that would come from such surprising agony right over one's heart could more than cause such breakages.

Newton's Laws? (1)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506977)

I am certainly no physicist (I took a year of high school physics and watch a lot of Mythbusters -- that's the extent of my education in this area), but it seems to me that he would have had to be wearing a suit of armor. Let's assume (wrongly, but for sake of argument) that the phone could blow up with enough force to break his spine from the front. If I understand how it all works (and again, see my credentials above and add grain of salt), he'd either have to be wearing a suit of armor to contain the blast or the phone would have to be heavier than him to not just blow out the front of his shirt. Am I right? Then again, a suicide bomber isn't wearing 180 pounds of explosives ... maybe I'm wrong.

Anyhow, this is only one of a hundred things wrong with this story (starting with the title), but it still seems like the phone might scorch you and maybe even break a rib but it would basically propel itself away from you like a rocket. Now if it suddenly got very hot and made you start dancing about frantically in, say, a quarry, I can see (as can others around here) how that might cause a combination of injuries that would sound like what they have. But Kim Hoon, the doctor credited in the article with this innovative conclusion, has no future in forensics (hopefully).
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