Put on headphones and died: we deal with the strange death of a schoolboy in Rembau

    On December 6, The Sun reported a tragic accident in Malaysia. A sixteen-year-old schoolboy, Mohammed Zakharin, was found dead at home, with headphones connected to a smartphone in his ears. According to the results of the autopsy, the teenager died from an electrical injury. After reading this news, many users took it for a fake, although it is known that even this year is not the first case of this kind. Under the cat more about the tragedy, similar cases and how this could happen.

    Known details of the Mohammed incident

    At the moment, the case in Rembau is known relatively little. Mohammed, returning home, put the phone to charge, and then decided to listen to music. Some time after connecting the headphones, the charger failed, with the result that the student received an electric shock and died.

    The teenager was discovered by a mother who first decided that he was sleeping. Unable to wake her son, she called an ambulance, which stated death. According to the rescue service, no damage was found on the body of the teenager, except for the burn and moderate bleeding in the left ear. In the photo from the scene is visible a small puddle of blood. An autopsy confirmed the preliminary version of the electric shock.

    According to media reports, the brother of the deceased noted that the charger “was beating it with current”. A clear trace of electrical breakdown is visible on the case of the headphones.
    The phone model, manufacturers of headphones and chargers do not appear in the reports.

    Brazilian incident

    This is the second accident of this type known to me this year. An identical incident occurred in the municipality of Riacho Frio (Brazil), where the 17-year-old Louise Pinheiro also received an electric shock through the headphones from the charging phone. The case also ended in death from electric shock.

    Doctors who examined the girl's body noted that the ear cushions of the headphones melted in their ears. There was also information that the phone was almost destroyed by exposure to electric current and looked like it was blown up. At the same time it was reported that heavy rains with thunderstorms rained in the region on this day. The exact causes of the accident at the time of active media interest in the incident were not identified. It is known that the investigation considered two options: a faulty charger and a lightning strike.

    How can a gadget with headphones kill?

    So, from the point of view of physics and design features of smartphones and chargers, nothing is impossible in these situations. On many cheap charges from the Middle Kingdom, India and Malaysia, tiny transformers are installed, the elements are chosen as cheap as possible without the necessary power reserve.

    Moreover, such devices from noname manufacturers sometimes fail to pass standard electrical safety tests. This is probably due to the lack of any competent expertise in production and the desire to minimize the cost of production.

    In such chargers there is a high probability of prolonged electrical breakdown (arc discharge). A current of 0.5 A, with a voltage of 220 V, enters the low-voltage circuit, and this in turn can lead to the user being affected through headphones.

    A dangerous circumstance in such situations may be the user's grounding, as demonstrated by numerous cases with smartphones in the bathroom. For example, the incident in the village of Gryzlovo in February of this year (a charging smartphone that got into the water led to a fatal electrical injury).

    It can also be assumed that the case in Brazil was not so typical and the lightning discharge played a role there, which multiply increased the voltage and current intensity in the network. This can be indicated by the state of the phone, which, according to eyewitness accounts, was literally blown up, and the melted ear cushions.

    Especially dangerous is the use of charging smartphones in bathrooms. Such well-known resonant cases were fatal electrical injuries with charging smartphones in 2013–2016, for example, the famous incident with Chinese woman Ma A Lun.


    Obviously, the cases described are more likely exceptions, probably due to the poor quality of the chargers. Moreover, the number of such situations is growing, which is alarming. We strongly recommend to purchase electronics manufacturers that certify products according to standards of type EN 60065 (and analogues), which imply electrical safety tests. We also urge you to use the gadgets connected to the chargers with care, not to charge the gadgets in the bathroom, follow the rules of operation and do not forget about common sense.

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    pikabu.ru (user Rones)

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