Features Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 18, 2015 | 03:36 pm IST  It was around dusk that 18-year-old Seetharam, a daily wager, thought of listening to some music on his cell phone to unwind after the day's toil. Before that, he put his cell phone on charge and pressed a button to see whether it was working or not. From a deafening bang to his parents rushing towards his room- what unfolded next was perhaps too quick to have made sense to anyone at that point of time.  Some reports suggest that Seetharam had received a call on his phone while it was still charging, and that is when the blast occurred.  Seetharam's phone had exploded, ripping apart his face.The incident took place on February 3 in Mysuru, Karnataka.  The young man's father told Deccan Herald, "Seetharam’s face had been torn apart, with the pieces of flesh scattered, some sticking to the walls of the shed.” According to The Deccan Herald report when the medical staff, of the hospital where Seetharam was first taken to,  saw him, they were horrified. 'The lower part of Seetharam’s face including his nose and mouth had been severely damaged, with skin dangling and blood oozing from the huge injury', states the report. Doctors said that 'Seetharam’s condition was a total mess - with split nose and a non-existent mouth.' (Apple iPhone 3GS's Lithium-ion polymer battery, which has expanded due to a short circuit failure; Image Source: Wikipedia) Seetharam, it is said, will need several surgeries before his face can be brought back to anywhere near his original form.   However, Seetharam's case is not an isolated incident. Cell phone blasts are often reported by the media- from severe injuries caused to the victims to electrocution and even death in one case.  Several reports quoting experts suggest that cheap cell phone batteries often bloat on being overcharged and are more likely to explode when used simultaneously while on charge.  A The Times of India report states that 'Charging puts pressure on the motherboard of the phone, using it during charging increases this pressure manifold. This causes the cheap electronic components in some mobiles to explode'. The report adds that certain malware or bug found in Android smartphones can also cause the phone to blast during charging.  In another case of a reported cell phone explosion, where a 14-year-old nearly lost his eye, Ankit Chowdhary, who works with the hardware of mobile phones, told Bangalore Mirror that cheap components and sub standard components were to be blamed for such mishaps. "The circuit in cheap chargers cannot handle electricity efficiently. The batteries are made of lithium iron, which may explode in such cases. In case of cheaper products, even minute fluctuations could lead to such accidents", he told the paper.  'A defective or improperly-handled battery can overheat, causing the cells to break open and result in a chain reaction of other cells rupturing. This is called thermal runaway, and it’s the cause of most battery explosions and, less dramatically, battery swelling. The defect can be a simple short circuit, or a design defect that improperly insulates individual cells from the heat of neighbors. That’s what causes cell phones and laptops to catch fire on rare occasions'.- Geek.  A report by Mashable titled 5 Phone Charging Myths, Debunked states that it is okay to use a phone while it is charging 'as long as you're not using a sketchy third-party charger'. A manufacturer-approved charger and battery should be just fine.  Read a list of the deadliest mobile phone explosions recorded: Busting the Myth: Yes, Cell Phones Can Explode Android Pit in a report notes down a few tips to prevent any 'unexpected battery combustion problems'. They are:  Use a original battery or well-known replacement brands. 'It may be cheaper to buy cheap batteries, but consider how much you pay for your phone and how much you like your apartment in one piece'. Devices should not be kept in hot areas, especially while charging. 'Ambient temperatures affect batteries a lot'. 'If your phone is charging or you are using functions that cause it to heat up a lot, make sure you are using it in a ventilated place'.  Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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