By Michael Hein
– March 19, 2018
An 18-year-old girl named Uma Oram was killed in India recently, when her smartphone reportedly exploded while she was talking on it.
According to her family, Oram was speaking on the older cell phone while it was plugged in to charge. She was in the village of Kheriakani, in the state of Odisha, in the eastern part of India. DailyMail reports that the sudden explosion caused injuries to her hand, chest and leg, and it knocked the teen unconscious. Oram was rushed to the hospital, where she was declared dead shortly after arriving.
“As the battery of the mobile phone was draining out, she plugged it for charging while talking over it simultaneously,” Oram’s brother, Durga Prasad Oram, told reporters. “The cell phone… was put on charging when she started talking to a relative. Before we could know what exactly happened, Uma fell unconscious. She was declared dead at the hospital.”
The outlet also published photos, though they are extremely graphic. One shows Oram lying motionless with her injuries, while another shows a close up look at the phone. It bears a Nokia logo, and some have reportedly identified it as a Nokia 5233, which was released in 2010. However, there are no other widespread reports of this model exploding in this way.
The outlet also reached out to a spokesperson for Nokia. “We are deeply saddened to hear of the unfortunate incident involving a 19-year-old girl that has been reported,” they said.
“While we have not been able to independently verify the facts of any of these reports, we can confirm that the mobile phone in question was not manufactured or sold by HMD Global, the new home of Nokia phones, set up in 2017 to create a new range of Nokia devices. As HMD Global, we are committed to producing high quality handsets which deliver a strong user experience and meet high customer expectations,” the spokesperson added.
HMD Global acquired Nokia in 2016, at the time of its founding. The company is based in Finland, and has tried to reinvigorate the “Nokia” brand for a global market, where Apple, Samsung and a few others tend to dominate.
There is still no explanation for the explosion of Oram’s phone, though police have reportedly visited the scene to gather statements and evidence. Oram’s body has been sent for a post-mortem investigation.