However, after preliminary autopsy results suggested damage to Seo's internal organs was too great to be caused by a cell phone explosion, police investigated his colleague who first reported the death, said Min Kang-gi, a detective in Chungju, some 140 kilometers (85 miles) south of Seoul.
The colleague, identified only by his surname Kwon, confessed to police that he accidentally killed Seo while he was backing up a drilling vehicle but first reported to police that the death was caused by the battery explosion, Min said.
I want to give kudos to our savvy readers who pointed out that the battery explosion was not responsible for the tragedy. Here is what one reader, ChrisH, had to say:
Of course, a brief review of the physics will suggest that this is all nonsensical. For starters, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Now, I'm willing to believe that the cell phone battery exploded, snapped his ribs clean through, ripped a hole in his lung, popped his heart, and then broke his spine. The fact that the phone was found melted in his shirt pocket gives me pause. I'm not completely up on South Korean fashion, but are they wearing Kevlar over there? The story doesn't say that the shirt was found a quarter mile from the victim, which would surely be the case if the phone stayed in the shirt, and the back of the phone did all that damage. So, I suspect that there is something not entirely right with the story.
I am glad that the cell phone was not responsible for this man's death. I am sad, however, that the man passed away from an accident.
Story corrected, case solved. Thank you all for your comments.