A death originally thought to have been caused by an exploding cellphone was later blamed on a co-worker who confessed to making up the story after accidentally striking the victim with a drilling vehicle, South Korean police said in 2007.
The quarry worker, identified only by his family name Seo, was found dead with a melted phone battery in his shirt pocket. Police and a local doctor who examined his body said a malfunctioning battery may have killed the man.
However, after an autopsy suggested damage to Seo's internal organs was too great to be caused by a cellphone explosion, police questioned the colleague who first reported Seo's death.
The man, identified only by his surname Kwon, told police that he accidentally killed Seo while backing up a drilling vehicle, acknowledging that the exploding cellphone story was fiction.
Kwon told investigators after the accident that he moved his vehicle to throw off police, but did not say he set the phone on fire.
Police said the phone was made by LG Electronics, the world's fifth-largest handset maker. LG said it knew all along that its cellphone was not the killer. "LG rigorously tests all the products not only for functionality and design, but safety as well," the company said. (info from The Associated Press)