December 2, 2007 / 8:27 AM / 11 years ago

Mobile phone death a ruse

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean police say what they thought had been a death caused by an exploding mobile phone was actually a ruse used by a co-worker to cover up an accidental vehicular homicide.

Police and a doctor who examined the body of a 33-year-old quarry worker had said on Thursday the victim was found dead with a burning mobile phone stuck to his chest and they were looking into whether he was killed by an exploding battery.

“The co-worker confessed to us last (Thursday) night that he had actually hit him by accident and lied about the mobile phone exploding,” said an official with the Cheongju Heungdeok police station, about 100 km (60 miles) southeast of Seoul.

The co-worker confessed to police that he pinned the victim to a rock face while backing up a construction vehicle.

Police are investigating whether the phone caught fire due to intense pressure or if the co-worker set it ablaze, local media reported.

The victim, who was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital, had burns on his chest, fractured ribs and internal bleeding, the doctor said.

Reporting by Jessica Kim, writing by Jon Herskovitz

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