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English teacher in Buriram dies after being ‘electrocuted’ by charging tablet


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English teacher in Buriram dies after being ‘electrocuted’ by charging tablet

 

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Picture: Naew Na

 

Police and rescue services in Muang Buriram in the north east of Thailand were called by the cousin of an English teacher after the school called to say she had not turned up to work.

 

The cousin found a door unlocked but a mosquito screen was locked at the large house on one rai of land in the Suan Khrua housing estate in Isan sub-district. 

 

They noted the smell of decomposition and called 191.

 

The authorities broke in and found Suphana, 48, a woman known as Khru Et" clothed in bed. 

 

The fan was on, there was a phone by her knee and an iPad under her right armpit was connected by a cord to the plug.

 

She had burns on her arm and police believe she was electrocuted after she had taken a shower. 

 

There were no suspicious circumstances or signs of a break in.

 

The victim is thought to have been dead for three days as the last contact via phone was with a relative on Friday. 

 

She lived alone after splitting up with her husband many years ago, reported Naew Na who said her only companions were two dogs.

 

The victim was an English teacher at Ban Samed school in Plapphla Chai district. 

 

Source: Naew Na

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-03-02
 
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The strange thing is that the chargers output quite a low amount of power. I wonder where the shock came from?

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1 hour ago, ThailandRyan said:

Possibly a faulty charger chord, or a low quality fake one.

 

Yeah, all of these cases that I've heard about in Thailand have involved cheap after-market Chinese chargers bought online or in markets.

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This happens just way too often 😞

 

I repeat the above, don't buy cheap after-market chargers, install at least a front-end RCD/RCBO, avoid using your device when on charge.

 

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"They noted the smell of decomposition" ?

 

How would a cousin know that ? I wouldnt know what "decomposition" smells like, surely it would just be "noted a bad smell" , rather specific, if thats what they actually said.

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6 hours ago, ukrules said:

The strange thing is that the chargers output quite a low amount of power. I wonder where the shock came from?

 

Clearly BS ! This is in the news quite often but it's impossible !

So I would really like to know the truth...

 

 

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4 hours ago, Crossy said:

This happens just way too often 😞

 

I repeat the above, don't buy cheap after-market chargers, install at least a front-end RCD/RCBO, avoid using your device when on charge.

 

 

so you really believe that someone can be electrocuted when using a charging device ?!

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, sncoem said:

 

Clearly BS ! This is in the news quite often but it's impossible !

So I would really like to know the truth...

 

 

You obviously can't handle the truth.

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13 hours ago, wavodavo said:

Believe me te smell of a decomposin body is a very unique smell tat you will never foret.

Yep that's for sure and the smell and images last in your mind forever. 

Loaded a few dead bodies into a helicopter. They had been in the water a while and had to tie them up with wire to fit through the door. 😞

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19 hours ago, ukrules said:

The strange thing is that the chargers output quite a low amount of power. I wonder where the shock came from?

When they are properly designed and tested they output 5v for a USB phone, maybe as high as 19v for a laptop. 

 

Junk chargers have no safety shunts or other protection and can deliver the full 220 in fault. 

 

If the phone or tablet was destroyed then that's what happened. 

Use a power bank, which also saves your device, or invest in quality chargers, not cheap junk from our close northern neighbor. 

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1 hour ago, RocketDog said:

Agreed all.

I will add that if the transformer fails (and quality chargers use a simple step down xformer but more often a flyback switching regulator w/transformer as well as secondary over voltage/current crowbar elements) then it's lethal to devices and users.

I spent years designing such converters for Intrinsically Safe equipment for use in hazardous gas atmosphere applications like oil/gas/chrmical/wastewater plants. 

Look at the UL60079-11 international standard for such requirements. 

 

Furthermore, transformers built with proper primary/secondary insulation are less efficient, therefore larger and more expensive to manufacture. 

 

Junk chargers go for the lowest wholesale price and have no care for users. 

 

I settled on Anker products from the Lazada flagship store. I even contacted Anker directly to verify the store as well as talking to one of their design engineers. I have zero interest in saving a few baht at risk to myself. 

 

No, I don't get paid for an endorsement but will take that heat if it will save lives or devices. 

Problem is that folks from the UK , and other western countries , are used to buying with confidence from either online or highstreet vendors under the assumption that the item has passed a PAT or has a KITE emblem that shows product safety . However these safeguards do not appear to be used here or are not adhered to ,

am I right ?  Bit of a minefield for Joe Bloggs even if shopping at major retailers such as Lazada or Shopee .   How can we be safe when buying electrical items in Asia ?

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2 hours ago, superal said:

Problem is that folks from the UK , and other western countries , are used to buying with confidence from either online or highstreet vendors under the assumption that the item has passed a PAT or has a KITE emblem that shows product safety . However these safeguards do not appear to be used here or are not adhered to ,

am I right ?  Bit of a minefield for Joe Bloggs even if shopping at major retailers such as Lazada or Shopee .   How can we be safe when buying electrical items in Asia ?

Your supposition is correct. In my area of expertise, Hazardous Atmosphere electronics, there are many vendors who put false labels on their products. Naturally this is illegal, but as we all know.............Unfortunately, the market wants their phone chargers to be small and cheap. This drives vendors to reduce cost/size to gain market share. If the charger gets warm or shows signs of plastic case deformation, discard the thing immediately and destroy it first so it won't be salvaged from the trash and used by someone else.

 

As for Joe, his only recourse is to stop buying from the lowest cost vendor in specific areas such as this. Also, looking for certification labels helps, but again, these are falsified, specifically on chinese products. That's why I mentioned Anker charging products, which I have vetted the Lazada Anker Flagship Store with. As @Crossy mentioned, it is a relatively rare event, but still, nobody wants to die this way.

 

As another member posted though, just don't use products when they are being charged from 220/120V mains sources, UNLESS they are being charged wirelessly. My Samsung S7 can be charged wirelessly (Anker makes a fast charger) or from a power bank charger. More and more products are offering wireless charging options. These deaths occur several times a year and I always make a post much like my first one; do a search to see.

 

These deaths often occur when the victim is in bed with earbuds connected. It is my unverified opinion that the charger fails, mains current is present on the earphone cables, and the moisture in the inner ear provides a low resistance path through the brain and heart. At lower voltages, such as normal5v  phone use, the resistance path is high enough that only minute currents flow even in a fault condition. At 220V/50Hz, there is enough capacitive coupling (lower impedance) from your body to earth in this case to cause high current death; this is conjecture on my part. If true, then over the ear phones would be less likely to present this low impedance path, thus no harm. So Joe should also buy such earphones to use when he's using a mains-charging phone.

 

Note that we are discussing very specific electrocution hazards from very specific devices. Lots of other electronic equipment, fake labels or not, is not in the same category though it may well still be junk. Living in Thailand I have resigned myself to buying chinese junk and replacing it very year or two.

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This is one of the reasons why I always use wireless charge. At home and in the car. And yes, it supports QuickCharge. (Old trusty S7)

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20 hours ago, sncoem said:

 

so you really believe that someone can be electrocuted when using a charging device ?!

 

 

 

Such accidents have been reported many times on Nation and other news outlets and they are nearly always when the victim is lying on their bed.

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2 hours ago, RocketDog said:

Your supposition is correct. In my area of expertise, Hazardous Atmosphere electronics, there are many vendors who put false labels on their products. Naturally this is illegal, but as we all know.............Unfortunately, the market wants their phone chargers to be small and cheap. This drives vendors to reduce cost/size to gain market share. If the charger gets warm or shows signs of plastic case deformation, discard the thing immediately and destroy it first so it won't be salvaged from the trash and used by someone else.

 

As for Joe, his only recourse is to stop buying from the lowest cost vendor in specific areas such as this. Also, looking for certification labels helps, but again, these are falsified, specifically on chinese products. That's why I mentioned Anker charging products, which I have vetted the Lazada Anker Flagship Store with. As @Crossy mentioned, it is a relatively rare event, but still, nobody wants to die this way.

 

As another member posted though, just don't use products when they are being charged from 220/120V mains sources, UNLESS they are being charged wirelessly. My Samsung S7 can be charged wirelessly (Anker makes a fast charger) or from a power bank charger. More and more products are offering wireless charging options. These deaths occur several times a year and I always make a post much like my first one; do a search to see.

 

These deaths often occur when the victim is in bed with earbuds connected. It is my unverified opinion that the charger fails, mains current is present on the earphone cables, and the moisture in the inner ear provides a low resistance path through the brain and heart. At lower voltages, such as normal5v  phone use, the resistance path is high enough that only minute currents flow even in a fault condition. At 220V/50Hz, there is enough capacitive coupling (lower impedance) from your body to earth in this case to cause high current death; this is conjecture on my part. If true, then over the ear phones would be less likely to present this low impedance path, thus no harm. So Joe should also buy such earphones to use when he's using a mains-charging phone.

 

Note that we are discussing very specific electrocution hazards from very specific devices. Lots of other electronic equipment, fake labels or not, is not in the same category though it may well still be junk. Living in Thailand I have resigned myself to buying chinese junk and replacing it very year or two.

Or get Bluetooth headphones.

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On 3/2/2021 at 6:49 AM, webfact said:

The fan was on, there was a phone by her knee and an iPad under her right armpit was connected by a cord to the plug.

 

She had burns on her arm and police believe she was electrocuted after she had taken a shower. 

Seems like these details also didn't help?

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16 hours ago, hkt83100 said:

This is one of the reasons why I always use wireless charge. At home and in the car. And yes, it supports QuickCharge. (Old trusty S7)

I hear you. I never use my phone when wall-charging. It's the higher voltage mains power that kills. Any voltage AC or DC less than 24v is not perceptible by skin contact. 

Be aware though that there is no possible danger from a phone being charged in a car; I didn't know wireless chargers for cars were even available. It certainly makes for a more expensive and less efficient method. Same for solar panel chargers for phones; these are all low voltage designs.

 

It's not possible to be harmed by a 12v auto power system. Alternators have built-in voltage regulators to peg charging voltage to a 13.6-14.4 vdc range to prevent battery and system damage. I suppose such a regulator could fail but it would self-destruct immediately and probably destroy most of the cars systems and blowing fuses well before it could cause harm to a person.

 

The car chargers don't need any isolation and can be simple step-down voltage regulators but 5v over voltage devices are commonly used to prevent device damage. 

 

I commonly check a 9v battery for life by touching it to my tongue. A healthy tingle means it's not dead. If car batteries could kill we'd lose thousands of shade tree mechanics every year.!😁

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16 hours ago, adammike said:

Or get Bluetooth headphones.

Sure, better yet! Great and timely point. Now all we have to worry about is people charging the headphones while wearing them. 

Also, it eliminates the possibility of strangling yourself in earphone wires when having a nightmare. 😂

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