Nong Ying, 17, plugged the damaged lead into the mains of her house in Chaiyaphum, northeastern Thailand on Friday (November 1) in order to charge her phone, which had been plugged into the extension cord.
Ying’s mother, Boonpeng Tuponchai, came home to find Nong lying still on her bed. The concerned mother attempted to wake Ying but she suffered a minor electrical shock when she touched her daughter’s body.
Police Captain Khanti Peansoongnern, the investigating officer on the case, blamed the electric shock on the old power strip, which had been repaired several times.
He believes the teenager was electrocuted after she touched the metal bed frame, which had come into contact with the electrical current.
I think the old power strip provided an electrical leakage which ran to the bed, either through the soil on the ground, or directly touching the metal.
The girl might have then accidentally have touched the bed’s edge which is metal and she was electrocuted.
Despite the investigator’s suspicions about the cause of death, nothing is certain yet. The police captain explained authorities need to collect evidence from the scene and examine the body with a post-mortem before the cause can be confirmed.
Peansoongnern added he ‘will not rule anything out at this stage’.
The New York Fire Department (FDNY) has warned people not to use frayed or cracked electrical cords, explaining: ‘The electric cord on your appliance contains a live wire that is securely insulated. But if a cord becomes frayed, the live wire can be exposed.’
They offer tips for how to avoid dangerous situations involving frayed wires, writing:
Check cords regularly and replace any damaged or frayed cords immediately.
Do not wrap the cord in PVC tape, this is not a permanent solution to the problem.
The FDNY continue:
Make sure they protect all of the electrical cords in your home from damage, for example, don’t run cords under carpets or rugs and don’t hang them from nails.
If the cord is attached to an appliance you would like to keep, contact an electrician to help you. Do not touch it or try to repair it yourself.
Our thoughts are with Nong Ying’s friends and family at this tragic time.