Thai man reportedly 'electrocuted' by charging iPhone

Thai man reportedly 'electrocuted' by charging iPhone

Summary: Man was found dead with severe burns on his chest and hand which held the phone, so badly that his skin was sticking to it. Police suspect electrocution via the phone charger, which appears to be a third-party product.


A man in Thailand has been reportedly electrocuted while using his charging iPhone.

The 28-year-old Pisit Charnglek was found laying on the floor, with his left hand holding on to a black iPhone 4s hooked up to a charger that was in a power outlet, according to Daily News on Monday. A burn was found on his topless chest, as well as on his left hand which was holding the phone, to the extent that his skin had stuck to it, noted Tech in Asia.

iphone charger
The iPhone charger is blue, which indicates it is likely to be non-standard issue. (

Police suspect the man had been using the phone while falling asleep on the floor, which his father Chaleaw Charnglek described was typical of him. The father added he had heard a yell from his room but brushed it off as his son often talked in his sleep, according to Bangkok Post.

While police are waiting for autopsy results before confirming the cause of death, they suspect the cause of death is electrocution via the phone charger. Based on photographs by Daily News, the charger has a blue plug which indicates it is likely to be non-standard issue.

A third party charger was also involved in the electrocution of a Chinese stewardess in August this year, just days after a similar case involving a Chinese man. This led Apple to offer a two-month $10 replacement program for non-standard chargers.


Topics: Smartphones, Apple, iPhone


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Nothing but a freak accident.

    Nobody to blame. Cant blame Apple, cant blame the man trying to find the cheapest charger he could use(human nature). Someone might ask "If you could afford an iPhone, why not the genuine charger?" well my answer is, idont know.
    • Really?

      How about blaming the manufacturer of the fake charger?
      • It was a usb charger...

        The usb charger can be used to charge any usb kit... why is it called fake? It can only be called a fake if it didn't charge anything!

        So my super PC is a fake because I connect my iphone to charge it from???
        • Fake charger

          Maybe because a charger's job is to charge a phone, not electrocute the user?
          • Regulating Agency

            It is the fault of the regulating agencies for let things like this to be sold. In the US and many other countries there are have fairly high standards for electrical insulation for products like this. Many countries think these safety rules are ridiculous and do not enforce them. Safety rules are not set and do not change unless there is blood. It happens all the time and it seems like many countries have to learn things all over again killing a lot of additional people. They eventually change when there is enough blood.
          • Re: In the US and many other countries

            .. you can still find non-standard chargers that are not safe to use. Just as anywhere else.
            Sad, but true.
          • Buyer beware

            Unfortunately this is one of those situations where the buyer has to consider his or her sources. UL markings can be faked or simply left out, "genuine Apple" can be fake. They are not "all the same" just because they were all made in China. "You get what you pay for" actually applies here.
        • I agree

          "Fake" is not the right word. "Aftermarket" would be a better word and better still would simply be "defective aftermarket". Everything else is largely irrelevant, including the iPhone design as the iPhone should never be electrified with anything greater than 5 volts DC.
          • I correct myself

            After reading up a bit on chargers I have come to realize that there are "fake", or counterfeit if you will, chargers. As in made to be almost or totally indistinguisable from genuine Apple chargers on the outside and sold as "genuine Apple chargers" in the market, but on the inside are garbage and not made to US or Apple's safety specs. So looking at a picture of the "evidence" would not be appropriate to try to judge a "fake" as they must be examined in detail.
        • It's a 4S

          So possibly it included a knockoff of the proprietary Apple cable? It may be imprecise, as technically it's the cable, not the charger, but what's a charger without something to connect it to the phone?
    • Nothing but a freak accident

      As you say....... freak accident....... But of course APPLE is the big thing here. If this had been an electric toothbrush, or a Samsung or LG phone it wouldn't have been news would it??
  • All those metal case lovers

    Here is a shining example of why you buy a plastic case phone.
    Alan Smithie
    • You do not need to buy plastic phone if you use genuine power adapter

      The subject.
    • Of all the Pros and Cons

      For a metal case on a phone, this is pretty low on the list, due to the extremely low probability of it actually happening to you. If this is a con for metal cases, then you have to list "stopping a bullet" as a pro for metal cases, which probably has the same chance of happening for the average user.

      In either case, this is a freak occurrence. It's essentially iPhone clickbait, given it appears that the iPhone itself had little to do with the situation and a knockoff charger seems to be the real culprit. The headline "Man electrocuted by phone charger" just doesn't have the same draw.
      • Iphone 5C

        That has a plastic case. Stop being paranoid.

        Regardless of who made the charger, there is a risk with metal bodied phonies when being used while plugged into the charger and the mains gets a lightening strike.
        Alan Smithie
        • Paranoid? Not me.

          I'm pretty sure I said either way (gunshot or electrocution) there's a negligible chance of it happening. Certainly not enough of a chance that it should sway anyone one way or the other.

          My point about the click bait is, any headline with iPhone in it is going to draw more interest than one using "smartphone" or "USB charger".
          • clickBait

            You are surprised by this. If you want a lot of people to read your article, you put words such as "Apple" and "iPhone" in it. This is standard practice and I am shocked that you feel as though you've made some great discovery by mentioning it here. Apple doesn't need people like you to defend them, so stop trying...
          • How did you get to this article?

  • Ok, so the human and the phone become hot enough to burn, blacken, and melt

    yet the thin 20-24 gauge wire in the adapter cord remains intact?
    • Looks like

      Asian Mafia is creating a new hoax to cover up their hits.
      Jacob VanWagoner