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Exploding mobile battery suspected in S Korea fatality

LG describes blast as 'virtually impossible'

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A South Korean man was this morning found dead at work, apparently killed by an exploding mobile phone battery, AP reports.

The victim, identified only by his surname Suh, was discovered at a quarry in Cheongwon, 135 kilometres (85 miles) south of Seoul with "his mobile phone battery... melted in his shirt pocket", according to a police official. The unnamed official added: "We presume that the cell phone battery exploded."

Doctor Kim Hoon, who examined the body, explained: "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken. It is presumed that pressure caused by the explosion damaged his heart and lungs, leading to his death."

Police said the mobile in question was made by LG. A company official confirmed this, adding that LG "would not comment directly on the incident because the cause was not confirmed". He did, however, describe such an explosion as "virtually impossible". ®

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