November 29, 2007 / 7:30 AM / 11 years ago

Mobile phone may have killed quarry worker

A burnt mobile phone is seen in this undated picture released by the Cheongju Heungdeok Police Station November 28, 2007. A 33-year-old South Korean quarry worker was found dead with a burning mobile phone stuck to his chest, police and the doctor who examined the man said on Thursday. REUTERS/The Cheongju Heungdeok Police Station/Handout

SEOUL (Reuters) - A 33-year-old South Korean quarry worker was found dead with a burning mobile phone stuck to his chest, police and the doctor who examined the man said on Thursday.

The man, who was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital, had burns on his chest, fractured ribs and internal bleeding, the doctor said.

“When he was admitted into the emergency room, the melted mobile phone was stuck to the left side of his shirt,” said Kim Hoon, professor at emergency department at Chungbuk National University Hospital, who examined the victim.

“I cannot think of any other cause of his death other than his mobile phone exploding,” Kim said.

Police said they are investigating that as a possible cause and whether it was triggered by a faulty battery, Yonhap news agency reported. It will take about 10 days to complete the probe into what led to the death.

“He (the victim) was found lying next to an excavator while working at a stone quarry,” an official from the Cheongju Heungdeok police station, about 100 km (60 miles) southeast of Seoul, told Reuters.

Witness Kwon Young-sup told national broadcaster YTN: “He was lying on the ground and his mobile phone was still burning so I had to put the fire out.”

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