Woman Killed by ... Phone Charger
Sheryl Aldeguer electrocuted by faulty charger in April
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2014 10:58 AM CDT
Police are warning against faulty phone chargers after a woman's death.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A mother of two has died in Australia thanks to a $4.95 phone charger. Authorities say Sheryl Anne Aldeguer, 28, was talking on the phone, plugged into a cheap charger that failed to meet Australian safety rules, when she was electrocuted with 240 volts and died instantly. The Filipino national was found dead in her apartment a day later in April, wearing headphones, with burns on her ears and chest. Her family had not yet joined her in Australia. "The voltage seems to travel up through the faulty charger into her phone," a rep for the Department of Fair Trading in New South Wales tells the Sydney Morning Herald, noting Aldeguer's earphones were attached to a laptop, which was plugged in to the same power outlet on the wall.

The Daily Mail adds Aldeguer was talking to a friend at the time, and the cord's lousy shielding caused the voltage to pass into her body, then complete the circuit by traveling through her headphones into her laptop and back into the wall outlet. Police are now warning consumers about the dangers of knock-off USB-style chargers, calling Aldeguer's death a "wake-up call," RT reports. Meanwhile, Fair Trading officers raided the mobile accessory outlet that sold Aldeguer the charger last week. "All the products have been removed. We went out there as soon as possible when we were notified," the rep said; the commissioner notes that many items seized were not compliant with Australian safety standards. The owners of the outlet could face fines up to $875,000, plus a two-year custodial sentence, he adds.

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Jun 28, 2014 12:00 PM CDT
Jun 28, 2014 9:04 AM CDT
Avoid cheap Chinese knock offs
Jun 28, 2014 4:50 AM CDT
My condolence to the family of this young mother, who was merely trying to economize because well all need to with money the way it is these days. I would bet what this article is not saying is that the product was made in China and it was sneaked into the country and this is why it did not meet standards. Chinese manufacturers have few standards. They produce tons of faulty products that turn to a waste of material weeks after they are purchased. Merchants have few standards as well and they just pass the junk to consumers with no conscience. In this case a child is deprived of a mother, which is something really sad and everlasting.