Faulty USB charger blamed for Pinay's death in Sydney

Posted at 06/28/2014 6:30 PM | Updated as of 06/29/2014 12:48 PM
Photo grabbed from the Facebook account of Sheryl Aldeguer

MANILA – A faulty USB charger is being blamed for the death of a 28-year-old Filipina mom in Sydney, Australia.

In a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, government agency Fair Trading NSW said that Sheryl Anne Aldeguer was found dead by her friends inside her house on April 23, wearing headphones and with burns on her ears and chest.

The Fair Trading NSW believes that a faulty phone charger sent a high-voltage electrical pulse into her phone, which went to the earphones she had connected to a laptop.

''The voltage seems to travel up through the faulty charger into her phone and she was wearing earplugs and also operating a laptop which was also plugged into a power point. So the (electricity) traveled back down through the earphones to the laptop and into the power point,'' said Fair Trading NSW's Lynelle Collins as quoted by the Australian newspaper.

''Two-hundred-and-forty volts traveled up into the phone which obviously the phone isn't designed to handle,'' added Collins, who explained that bodies are good conductors of electricity.

According to the report, Aldeguer, a mother of two, was about to start her work as a nurse at Gosford Hospital before she died.

She was hoping that her family would join her in Australia soon.

Authorities in South Wales have already raided Campsie, a shop in Sydney where Aldeguer allegedly bought the $4.95 USB charger which was found non-compliant with Australian safety standards.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the owners of Campsie could face fines of up to $875,000 and a two-year custodial sentence.

He said that they were not aware of the large number of cheap chargers sold in the market in NSW until Aldeguer's death.