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Nazrin Hassan, founder and CEO of Malaysia-based tech-industry upstart, Cradle Fund, has reportedly succumbed to his death at the hands of his Blackberry or Huawei smartphone, which allegedly exploded in his bedroom last week while juicing up on the charger as he slept nearby — prompting injury, fire, smoke inhalation and, ultimately his demise, according to a report published by The Malaysian Insight.
“He had two phones, one Blackberry and a Huawei. We don’t know which one exploded. Who would have thought such an innocuous routine procedure is the reason three young kids will grow up without their father by their side,” Hassan’s brother-in-law said in a social media post, according to the publication.
He added that while it’s yet to be confirmed, initial police reports suggest it appeared as if Nazrin passed as the result of the explosion, itself, which may have caused blunt force injury to his head, resulting in his death, prior to the toxic smoke inhalation.
The fire, which broke out in the bedroom of Hassan’s Mutiara Damansara, Malaysia home on June 14, also caused major burns to Hassan’s body and mattress, the brother-in-law, who was not identified by name, said.
In the social media post, the brother-in-law encouraged readers to exercise caution when charging their smartphones, and to even consider picking a “safe zone” where the device can charge without the imminent threat of harming them in the unfortunate event that worse comes to worst.
“Better yet, not in the bedroom” he said, noting that “It’s worth the inconvenience of not having your mobile a hand’s reach away.”
Cradle Fund is a Malaysia Ministry of Finance company who offers the providence of financial support to tech entrepreneurs and startups. To date, the firm has funded a myriad of successful companies in the Pacific Island nation, including local ride-hailing app, Grab, fin-tech upstart, iMoney, and nearly 700 others.
Cradle Fund’s management team reacted somberly to the new of their beloved Chief Executive’s passing, with the firm’s Chief Operations Office (COO), Razif Aziz, saying in a press release that “Cradle has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Nazrin have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.”
While Hassan’s untimely passing is terribly unfortunate, it of course wouldn’t be the first instance in which a smartphone or electronic device is believed to have sparked fire that resulted in fatality. Back in May, relatives of Egypt Air flight 804 victims banded together and sued Apple after “an iPhone or iPad” belonging to the co-pilot may have sparked a fire aboard the jetliner, prompting it to plunge into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, 2016.
While no fatalities were reported, the world’s most infamous exploding smartphone (Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7) was recalled shortly after it launched in August, 2016, amid a highly-publicized battery defect fiasco which not only resulted in a myriad of exploding devices — but also, unfortunately, bodily harm to several early adopters who were caught in the fray.