HTC phone explosion claim ‘totally untrue’


TAIPEI, Taiwan — A purported cell phone explosion in Taipei overnight turned out to be a hoax, the manufacturer said Thursday, thanking the Taipei police for promptly establishing the truth.

In a statement, Taiwan’s leading smartphone brand HTC Corporation said the claim that an HTC phone exploded and injured a man on Taipei Metro Wednesday evening was “totally untrue.”

HTC also wished the man speedy recovery.

The police has said earlier that the injury was self-inflicted.

After reviewing footage recorded by security cameras on Taipei Metro, the police found that the man identified only by his surname Chen broke his phone before slashing his left hand with a fragment of the device.

He sustained a minor injury. It was when emergency personnel were called to the scene that he claimed the phone exploded when he was traveling on a Metro train, presumably due to overheating.

The police later contacted the Chen family and were told that the man is a psychiatric patient and had been mentally unstable.

HTC said it found out what really happened around two hours after the incident on Wednesday evening. During that time, the company sought to contact Chen through the police, media reporters and the staff at Taipei Metro and the hospital where the man was treated, said HTC.

It is not immediately known whether the police would press charges against Chen for making a false claim to the authorities.