Nazrin Hassan, CEO of Malaysian venture capital firm Cradle Fund, reportedly died of injuries caused when his cell phone exploded as he slept.
The cause of death was initially said to be smoke inhalation — but according to a statement released by Cradle, Hassan died of “complication of blast injuries attributable to an exploding hand phone.” It’s not currently clear what type of phone was involved.
The Malaysian Insight reports that a “message from the family that has been circulating on social media” stated Hassan had two phones, one BlackBerry device and one Huawei. “We don’t know which one exploded,” the message said. Local authorities haven’t committed to a cause of death.
“The statement that the cause of fire was from a (sic) exploding handphone that was charged next to him was made by the family, not us. It is still premature to establish anything yet.” – Azmi Osman, Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director
Phones have been known to malfunction and catch fire — Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 was famous for it — but a phone detonating with enough force to cause death would be unusual. In 2009, a man in China was said to have died when his cell phone exploded in his pocket, but it was later found that he had likely accidentally shot himself. This March, it was reported that a woman in India died when her phone exploded while she was talking on it, but her cause of death is believed to have been electrocution.