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Exploding mobile battery kills Chinese welder

Motorola investigates fatal blast

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Motorola and Chinese authorities are working together to discover just how an exploding mobile phone battery claimed the life of a welder at Yingpan Iron Ore Dressing Plant in Gansu's Jinta county.

According to state news agency Xinhua, Xiao Jinpeng died on 19 June after "a Motorola cell phone in [his] chest pocket suddenly exploded" and emergency treatment at a local hospital failed. The victim suffered broken ribs, fragments of which pierced his heart.

Xiao's work colleagues suggested the blast was caused by the phone being exposed to high temperatures, although a Beijing spokesman for Motorola said it was "highly unlikely" that the company's product was to blame and "questioned whether the man was using a fake Motorola cell phone or battery".

Motorola's Beijing press officer Yang Boning added: "We are aware of an accident that occurred in Gansu at a welding operation. 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." ®

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