Teenage Girl Dies After Dropping Her Charging iPhone into the Bathtub

Irina Rybnikova Credit: CEN / Yahoo News
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A Russian teenager has died after being electrocuted by her iPhone in the bathtub, according to a new report.

Irina Rybnikova, 15, was killed in her home in Bratsk, Russia when she took her charging smartphone with her into the bathtub. According to local media reports (via Yahoo News), Rybnikova died when she dropped her iPhone into the water.

The teenager was electrocuted and died from heart failure before her body was found by her parents.

According to local reports, Rybnikova was well-loved by her friends and family and was an avid sportsperson. She had recently won the Russian Youth Pankration Championship, a sport that combines wrestling and boxing.

“Everyone loved her, she was friendly, kind and very beautiful,” a close friend of hers told local media.


Deaths of this kind are relatively rare, but they are not unheard of.

Back in March of last year, an Essex man named Richard Bull died while he was charging his smartphone in the bath. Reportedly, he was electrocuted when the portion between the charger and cable made contact with the water, according to the BBC.

In July 2017, 14-year-old Madison Coe died after being electrocuted by her smartphone, CNN reported. Investigators found that the device never touched the water — instead, evidence suggested that Coe had touched a part of the charging cable that was frayed.

It’s worth noting that it’s not the smartphone’s battery or electronic components themselves that are dangerous. Instead, it’s the voltage that flows through a wall adapter and cable that poses a serious hazard.

According to an investigation carried out by electrical engineer Steve Fowler (in collaboration with Inside Edition), smartphones themselves are not capable of “delivering a powerful enough shock to be harmful.”

But a smartphone charging with a cable is a different story — particularly if the cable is damaged or frayed in any way. Dropping a charging cell phone (or any electronic that connects to a wall outlet) in a bathtub causes electrical currents that could kill a person.

“Anything plugged into a wall should not be near the bathtub,” Fowler warned.

Still, even if you’re not actively charging your smartphone, it’s obviously better to err on the side of caution and just avoid using it in the bathtub entirely.

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