Faulty iPad Charger Explodes into the News

When Apple faces criticism, it usually has something to do with a software bug or a hardware flaw that serves as an annoyance to the user, but the recent round of production hiccups have the tech giant under fire for accusations of putting a user’s safety at risk.

British news site Mirror Online reports that a potentially faulty iPad charger led to a near fatal incident. Tim Gillooley of Warrington claimed that his daughter’s charger exploded in his hand after he unplugged the unit from a wall outlet. He said the explosion resulted in an electric shock that hurled him across the room in his mother’s home, leaving him with a visible burn on his finger. Gillooley said that had his eight-year-old daughter, Chloe, unplugged the device as she normally does, the shock could have killed her.

Signs of Trouble

Gillooley said that he had previously returned to the Liverpool Apple store from which he had purchased the device because he had noticed the iPad was having problems charging. Despite being told that both the unit and the charger were working properly, he purchased a new Apple cable and charger. It was this new charger that exploded in Gillooley’s hand.

A Worrisome Precedent

This is not the first time an Apple charger has been implicated as a possible hazard. This incident follows the electrocution death of Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old flight attendant from China, in July. According to The Guardian, Ailun was electrocuted when she answered her iPhone while the device was plugged in and charging. It’s reported that she had just stepped out of the bath to answer the phone, with faulty wires on the charger possibly reacting with particles in the water on her hands to cause the fatal shock.

This incident resulted in criticism of Apple from Chinese consumers state-run television. Similar to Gillooley’s iPad charger, Ailun’s device was said to have been a genuine product purchased from an official Apple store in the Xinjiang province. Apple is cooperating with Chinese authorities and assisting in the investigation into her death.

Gillooley, who shares joint custody of his daughter, purchased the device to keep in touch with her while she stays at her mother’s house. “We were big fans of Apple, but I won’t let my daughter near her iPhone now,” he said.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter, but reportedly requested the remains of the destroyed gadget.

Image Courtesy of Flickr.