iPhone electrocutes bride-to-be, Galaxy S4 injures teen

A couple of recent incidents have seen damaged smart phones injuring a Swiss teenager and killing a Chinese iPhone owner.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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A couple of recent incidents have seen phones catching fire or delivering electrical shocks while in a pocket or charging, injuring a Swiss teenager and killing a 23-year-old Chinese iPhone owner.

In Abu Dhabi, Sarah Shurrub, the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S4, awoke in the small hours to look after her toddler and found the charging phone burning, Emirates 24/7 reports.

No other damage was caused in the incident, which occured last month. Samsung has agreed to replace the phone. 

More recently, Swiss teenager Fanny Schlatter was shocked when her Galaxy S3 caught fire in her pocket -- the melted phone pictured above -- leaving her with second- and third-degree burns on her thigh, according to L'Essentiel.

Chinese woman electrocuted 

And in a separate tragic incident, 23-year-old flight attendant Ma Ailun was electrocuted in her Xingiang home while answering her iPhone 5 after getting out of the bath, Reuters reports. She was due to marry next month.

Ma Ailun's family say the phone and accessories were bought in an official Apple Store. Apple says it will investigate the incident.

A shock of 36V can kill, but mobile phones alone can't generate anything like that kind of level. A damaged charger can -- like any damaged electrical device -- produce a shock though. We're pretty fond of you guys, so don't handle your gadgets with wet hands, keep an eye out for damage, and don't forget to insure your stuff.

Stories of phones exploding or catching fire have been with us since phones first met pockets, but it's worth pointing out they're not always what they seem. Sometimes people just don't want to hold their hands up and say, "Yup, I put my phone in the microwave."

Has your phone ever spontaneously combusted or broken in an unexpected manner? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.