Cell phones kill people. Usually it’s through districted driving or texting, but in China, dropping a cell phone in a toilet turned out to be a deadly mistake for one family.
According to the South China Morning Post, a woman in Xinxiang, China, dropped her expensive new phone in an open toilet, also called a cesspit. What happened next would be many people’s worst nightmare.
“Her husband jumped in to find the 2,000-yuan (HK$2,510) phone but he could not breathe and soon lost consciousness,” the paper reported. The cost of the cell phone in American dollars was about $320.
The paper went on to note that not only did her husband lose consciousness, but so did others who went in after him.
“Then, the husband’s mother jumped in to save him but she, too, soon lost consciousness. In panic, the young woman followed and suffered the same fate.”
So far, that’s three people unconscious in the toilet, all for a cell phone.
In a panic, the paper reports two others followed the three into the toilet, likely to rescue the unconscious do-gooders instead of the cell phone. But they suffered the same fate.
According to the blog Shanghaiist, local villagers devised a plan to rescue the five without creating any more victims.
“Other villagers found a rope and tied it on rescuers who, while taking turns, pulled six people out of the pit,” the website reported.
But the attempts at rescuing the cell-phone recovering villagers from the toilet did not come soon enough, as reported by SCMP.
“The husband and mother-in-law died in hospital while the woman and a neighbour remained in the intensive care unit. The father-in-law was also injured.
“The woman and her husband had a one-year-old son.
“Villagers said the victims were in the pit – which was knee deep in waste – for no more than five minutes.
“A hospital doctor said the victims suffocated.”
As if a tragedy caused by dropping a cell phone in a toilet wasn’t already bad enough, it turns out that ambulances did not arrive for more than an hour, according to the SCMP, with villagers saying many of the victims had a pulse when they were pulled from the toilet.
While cell phones are known to be a hazard behind the wheel or to carry an insane amount of germs, would anyone have ever thought a single phone could result in so many deaths and injuries?
What do you think? Would you jump into a dangerous or smelly situation just to save your phone?
[Photo via Shanghaiist]