| The phone in pieces after the blast. (Gour Sharma)
Burdwan, Aug. 31: A Nokia handset exploded today while being charged in a shop that sells mobile phones in a village near Asansol.
The battery in the 1100 set was of the BL-5C series that Nokia recalled earlier this month, but Ajit Prasad claimed his Nokia stockist had assured him that the battery was safe.
Around 100 instances of overheating of phones with that battery had been reported from across the world, Nokia said while announcing the recall mid-August.
Jalan Infosis, which supplied the set to Prasad, who owns a store at Ushagram, denied declaring the battery safe.
Its business manager, Kartick Ghosh, said Prasad was told not to charge the battery as it was one of the 300 million manufactured for Nokia by Japan’s Matsushita company between December 2005 and November 2006.
“We recorded Prasad’s phone number after telling him not to charge the battery when he visited us,” Ghosh said.
The explosion took place around 10.45am after the set, placed on a photocopier, had been charged for about 10 minutes at Prasad’s shop, 200km from Calcutta.
Prasad said he went to Jalan Infosis, the Nokia stockist for Burdwan, Birbhum, Purulia and Bankura, four days ago, to get the battery checked. “They told me it was OK.”
An Asansol employee of the stockist, Soummoy Shyam, went to Prasad today.
“The remains of the battery could not be found. We saw some carbon dust on the Xerox machine on which the handset was kept. We have started a probe,” Ghosh said later.
Prasad was arranging the cellphone sets in his shop when the explosion occurred.
“It was like a chocolate bomb bursting. I stood transfixed for some time seeing smoke all around me. Initially, I thought the smoke was billowing out of the photocopy machine,” he said.
Prasad was lucky not to get hurt, like Kishori Saha of so-uth Calcutta, whose 2100 set exploded while being charged two days ago. That phone’s battery was a BL-D3, not part of the BL-5C series.
Pradip Agarwal, who sells covers for mobile phones next to Prasad’s store, said he went running to see what had happened. “Prasad was traumatised and we had to splash water on his face for some time to revive him,” he said.