A welder in western China was killed when a mobile phone battery exploded in
his chest pocket, state media said Wednesday.
The official Xinhua News Agency said that welder, Xiao Jinpeng, died on June
19 while working at the Yingpan Iron Ore Dressing Plant in Gansu's Jinta county.
Xinhua quoted Bai Shixiong, an official with the county public security
bureau, as saying a Motorola cell phone in Xiao's chest pocket suddenly
exploded, and he died at a local hospital after emergency treatment failed.
However, a Beijing spokesman for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola Inc. said it
was "highly unlikely" that one of the company's products was to blame and
questioned whether the man was using a fake Motorola cell phone or battery.
"We are aware of an accident that occurred in Gansu at a welding operation,"
said Yang Boning, a press officer for Motorola in Beijing. "Up to now,
preliminary evidence suggests it is highly unlikely that a cell phone caused
this accident. We are working with the Chinese authorities to determine and
investigate the root cause."
A team of Motorola employees was in Gansu to help local authorities
investigate, he said.
Colleagues said Xiao collapsed when the cell phone suddenly exploded after
apparently being exposed to high temperatures, Xinhua said. Xiao suffered broken
ribs and rib fragments pierced his heart, the report added.