Mobile phone explosion blamed for death of Cradle CEO

Nazrin Hassan died after the mobile phone he was charging beside his bed overheated and exploded, causing the mattress to catch fire too. (YouTube screengrab)

KUALA LUMPUR: A mobile phone on the bed or bedside that exploded while being charged could have caused the bedroom fire and death of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd CEO Nazrin Hassan yesterday, according to the family.

A message from the family circulating on social media quoted Nazrin’s brother-in-law as claiming that at some point the phone had overheated and exploded, causing blunt trauma at the back of Nazrin’s head which led to his death.

The mattress too caught fire but Nazrin was already dead by then, said the brother-in-law whose name was not mentioned in the message.

“He had two phones, a Blackberry and a Huawei. We don’t know which one exploded. Who would have thought such an innocuous routine procedure is the reason three young kids will grow up without their father by their side,” the message said.

According to police, Nazrin was trapped in a bedroom fire at his double-storey terrace house in Mutiara Damansara yesterday and probably died of smoke inhalation. He also suffered burns on his body.

The social media message advised people to be more careful when charging their mobile phones, including considering a safe zone when doing so.

“Better yet, not in the bedroom. It’s worth the inconvenience of not having your mobile (phone) a hand’s reach away,” said the brother-in-law.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd said that the post mortem report concluded the cause of death as being complications of blast injuries attributable to an exploding mobile phone that was being charged right next to Nazrin.

“Speculation on the cause of his death is completely unnecessary and unacceptable at this time. We request for everyone to respect the privacy of the family during this time of grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those he touched on his journey.”

Cradle Fund is a Ministry of Finance company that looks into developing tech entrepreneurs and the Malaysian start-up ecosystem.

It was the agency that gave early funding to successful companies like ride-hailing pioneer Grab (previously MyTeksi) and fintech start-up iMoney.