Pregnant woman electrocuted after dropping phone charger into bath
A pregnant woman in France died while taking a bath after she accidentally dropped her phone charger into the water. The 21-year-old was in the last stage of her pregnancy and was expected to deliver a few weeks after the incident took place.
According to authorities, the eight-and-a-half-month pregnant woman — a resident of the town of Saint-Martin-d'Hères near Grenoble — had gone into the bathroom to take a bath on 31 December after which her husband stepped out of their home. On realising that he had forgotten his keys, he tried to enter the house again but eventually had to break in after his wife did not respond to his calls.
There, he found her in the bathroom, unconscious and submerged in the tub of water. The Local reported that the man then called emergency services but they were unable to resuscitate the woman and the baby had also died from the electrocution. Medics confirmed that the woman's cause of death was cardiac arrest.
Police are still investigating the case, but said they found her phone charging "in the immediate vicinity" of the water in the tub and believe it may have been the cause of the accident.
In a similar incident in July, a girl from New Mexico died after using her phone charger while taking a bath. According to CNN, 14-year-old Madison Coe plugged her charged into an extension point and even sent a photo of it to her friend minutes before getting electrocuted. "When you use (an) extension cord so you can plug your phone in while you're in the bath," she captioned the image.
"She had her phone plugged into the extension cord and it was by the bathtub, and I did it, she did it, we all had sat there in the bathtub with our phones plugged in and played our games," Felisha Owens, Madion's stepmother, told CNN affiliate KRQE.
A 32-year-old man from London also met a similar fate after he used the same setup for his phone in the tub. Richard Bull died in December 2016 when the charger, which was resting on his chest, came in contact with the water.
"Although the cable that is plugged into your phone is 5V, somewhere along the line, it's plugged into the electricity supply and you're reliant on that cable and a transformer to make sure you don't get into contact with the main voltage," product safety manager Steve Curtler told BBC at the time.
"You're wet, which conducts electricity a lot better; you're in the bath with no clothes on, so skin resistance is less. You're vulnerable in the bathroom."