SEOUL, South Korea – An exploding cell phone battery is suspected by police in the death of a South Korean worker Wednesday, though the phone's manufacturer said it was highly unlikely.
The man, identified only by his family name Suh, was found dead at his workplace in a quarry Wednesday morning and his mobile phone battery was melted in his shirt pocket, a police official in Cheongwon told The Associated Press.
"We presume that the cell phone battery exploded," the police official said on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way.
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Kim Hoon, a doctor who examined the body, agreed.
"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."
Kim was not immediately available for comment.
Police said the phone was made by South Korea's LG Electronics Inc., the world's fifth-biggest handset maker.
An LG official confirmed its product was involved in the accident but said the company would not comment directly on the incident 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.