Uma Oram, an 18-year-old girl from India, was reportedly speaking to a relative on an older Nokia 5233 when the unthinkable happened. In the middle of her conversation, Oram plugged the Nokia 5233 into an outlet to charge the battery when it exploded, ultimately killing the teenager.
Metro reported, “Uma… was knocked unconscious and suffered injuries to her hand, leg and chest, was taken to a local hospital, where she died.”
It’s possible that the battery of this particular phone had never been replaced in its eight-year lifetime. The old battery’s stress from the phone call, in addition to being charged simultaneously, seems to have been enough to ignite the aging battery.
The Nokia 5233 originally launched in 2010 and features a user-removable battery. It’s a known fact that as rechargeable batteries age, they become more susceptible to explosions and should be replaced every few years to prevent such disasters.
Amid the swarm of news in recent years involving Li-ion battery explosions, the public might question whether this catastrophe should be blamed on the manufacturer who produced it eight years ago.
HMD Global, the current manufacturer of Nokia phones, wants to ensure the public understands that it had no hand in developing this older Nokia device, even though it shares Nokia branding with newer models.
Since this device is no longer supported – it’s not known who might be responsible (if anyone is) for the unfortunate event.
HMD Global issued this official response to PhoneArena: “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. At HMD Global, we are committed to producing high quality handsets which deliver a strong user experience and meet high customer expectations.”
PhoneArena goes on to report “The phone is still being sold on Amazon India for 2,999 Rupees (equivalent to $46 USD at current exchange rates).”
The victim’s body is being subjected to an autopsy in the district of Kheriakani amid an ongoing police investigation.