Apple Inc has announced plans to investigate the death of a Chinese woman, Ma Ailun, after she died of electric shock when she answered an incoming call on her iPhone 5 at the same time as the phone was charging.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter,” said Carolyn Wu, Beijing’s Apple spokeswoman.

Authorities have reportedly confirmed that Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old flight attendant for China Southern Airlines, died of electrocution, though it is not yet know if, indeed, an iPhone 5 was involved.

News of the allegation broke after Ma’s sister took to Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, warning others of the dangers of the iPhone and demanding an explanation from Apple.

“[I] hope that Apple can give us an explanation. I also hope that al of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging,” she wrote on the social media site.

China represents Apple’s second largest market, and this story could have a negative affect on the company’s business abroad.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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