internet bar

Man Electrocuted to Death After Charging Phone at Internet Bar

Shocked after touching the USB cord

A Hubei man has been fatally electrocuted after trying to unplug his mobile phone.

Xiong Xuan, 18, was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to hospital. A preliminary police report said Xiong died from electric shock.

Xiong was frequenting an internet bar located near his work in Huangpi, near Wuhan, when the incident occurred. Xiong had changed computers due to a slow connection, and was charging his phone using a USB cable.

Xiong’s brother, Feng, was sitting at a computer beside him and witnessed the incident:

When he went to pull the (USB) cord for the first time, he felt the electric charge and cried out. Then it seems he touched it again, and his leg hit the desk leg under the table.

Feng said he saw his brother go limp as foam came out of his mouth.

Reports of the incident don’t specify what kind of mobile phone Xiong was using, or if he was using third-party equipment. Police say an investigation is pending.

Incidents of mobile phone users being electrocuted to death during phone charging have happened before in China. In 2013, China Southern Airlines flight attendant Ma Ailun, 23, died when she answered her iPhone 5 as it was charging at home. That same year, 30 year-old Wu Jiantong fell into a coma after plugging in his mobile phone to recharge its battery. The victims in both cases were using chargers from third-party suppliers.

Another known problem with third-party phone accessories are malfunctioning external battery packs that explode. Once such instance occurred on the Shenzhen Metro in 2014.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor