More details have emerged of the Chinese flight attendant said to have been electrocuted by her iPhone. The website ZDNet reports that four days shy of her 23rd birthday, and 28 days before her boyfriend planned to marry her, South China Airline flight attendant Ma Ailun died in her home, alone.
Groom-to-be An Tao, a taxi driver who also worked at his family’s restaurant saving for their wedding, rushed home in the early hours of July 12, to find his wife lying on the bed, with a charging Apple iPhone 4 stuck to the right side of her neck.
The surrounding skin was black and burnt. Ma, whom one report said had earlier been taking a bath, was lifeless when authorities arrived. She was pronounced dead.
"Her right index finger and left big toe were incinerated from above the last joint," An said in an interview with Ren Min Wang, a national news website. "Apple must give an answer!"
Police and electricity experts conducted investigations of the scene on the same day Ma died, according to a report published by iYaXin, a local website. They found no problem with the circuitry in the house. They also found no fault with the phone's charger.
Oddly, the phone—with cracks on both sides and the buttons burnt—could still make phone calls, police reported.
So where to place the blame? And was it a genuine Apple product, or a faulty copy?
According to Ma's family, the phone was purchased for RMB 3,700 (US$603) at the end of 2012 at a shopping mall in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in West China.
"The price suggests that the iPhone should be a genuine Apple product," the spokeswoman of a local Apple after-sale service center told iYaXin. She expressed her condolences and suggested Ma's family take the phone to the the service center and get it inspected.
If the device is confirmed to be a genuine Apple product, it can be reported to Apple China headquarters.
Ma's family said they turned the phone over to police, and have requested further investigation.