Software engineer found dead in front of burnt computer

We have heard of exploding batteries and burning laptops but this may be the first potential laptop explosion that killed a person. A software engineer working for Tata Consulting Services was found dead in the sitting position with a burnt computer in front of him.

"Police said his charred body was found in a sitting posture. 'We are yet to ascertain the cause of the blast. The computer was completely damaged and the deceased was charred,' a police officer told TOI."

The victim had two roommates one of which "'had gone to take bath. He told us that suddenly he heard a blast and when he rushed out he saw the charred body of his friend and fainted,' the officer said. However, the case has baffled the investigating officers".

The police have not officially ruled the death due to the explosion yet but all of the evidence at the crime scene does suggest that is was the explosion that killed the victim.

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65 Comments

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I think what could happen is the guy got a heart failure from the sudden laptop explosion. Very sad. It's kind of disturbing how dangerous the laptops are, they're supposed to be low-power machines, which, preferrably wouldn't need a fan. But here we are, having laptops with 60 watt CPUs, running hot as hell, with batteries exploding.

i think that the initial blast must have knocked him unconscious, then he slumped onto the burning laptop and got burnt to death

'charred' is a subjective word...

::edit:: and i dont want to sound like im bashing India or something, but it might have been some locally-made excuse of a battery that the guy used in his laptop... more information is definitely needed...

Its obvious isnt it? Hackers hacked into the system, bypassed the internal firewall, and turned his laptop into a bomb.

I use a laptop as my main machine. I keep the battery in at all times (just incase of power failure) but its around 3 foot away from me with external monitor, keyboard, mouse,speakers etc.. Lets just hope it does not explode when im watching porn...

Honestly there is something funny, something doesn't fit, I don't think that a laptop could blast and leave the person sitting position. Probably it was not a blast, it must be something to do with faulty wiring. If the wiring is faulty, it could have passed enough current to char the body and the laptop. The "blast" must have been a fuse or something, which produced loud enough noise. Since it is Chennai, I suspect faulty wiring. Sometime back there was another gory and messy accident in which faulty wiring had caused a lot of innocent people to burn to death. If I recall correctly these people were attending some marriage function. I guess the government should be blamed for the wiring part, and I guess the roommate must be innocent. I am no CSI or a detective, just a theory that's all.

Sounds pretty fake, a laptop wouldn't create enough heat/flame to BBQ anything, perhaps some second ~ third degree burns, but not charred.

Stormeh said,
Sounds pretty fake, a laptop wouldn't create enough heat/flame to BBQ anything, perhaps some second ~ third degree burns, but not charred.

Not fake if the laptop was turned into a bomb by the government.

It doesn't say it's a laptop, also could it still be a CRT, then you have sharpnal from glass.
Bottom line, need more info.

jstillion said,
It doesn't say it's a laptop, also could it still be a CRT, then you have sharpnal from glass.
Bottom line, need more info.

The article said,
...but this may be the first potential laptop explosion that killed a person...

:)

Something about this story just sounds really fishy... even when laptop batteries explode there isnt THAT much force or fire...

There's something really fishy about this. It's hard to believe that a laptop could instantly char a person's body, even under the right conditions. At most, it'll severely burn the person's lap or hands. Perhaps even the person's face. The roommate rushed out immediately after hearing the blast. Was the laptop rigged with explosives? Did it spray some type of fuel all over his body and then explode, thus igniting the fire all over his body? I think the roommate had something to do with this unfortunate death.

Anaron said,
There's something really fishy about this. It's hard to believe that a laptop could instantly char a person's body, even under the right conditions. At most, it'll severely burn the person's lap or hands. Perhaps even the person's face. The roommate rushed out immediately after hearing the blast. Was the laptop rigged with explosives? Did it spray some type of fuel all over his body and then explode, thus igniting the fire all over his body? I think the roommate had something to do with this unfortunate death.

Maybe he was covered in gasoline?
Maybe it was the government?

I don't see how your laptop is supposed to be over your junk...

If you were sitting, ideally the back of your laptop should be right on your knee.

rm20010 said,
I don't see how your laptop is supposed to be over your junk...

If you were sitting, ideally the back of your laptop should be right on your knee.


But the explosion or fire will still easily burn your junk

chconline said,
This sounds really doubtful, and sad, yet somehow I found the title to be full of irony and funny :P

At first I read it as "Software engineer found dead in front of burnt out computer" like he'd been there for weeks/months without eating :P

Its time we stop using the term laptop. come to think of it... what scares us most: it goes in flames while on the desk and manages to kill you or it goes in flames on the lap and do some serious permanent damage?

Calum said,
This is worrying.

I'm a software engineer and my laptop always gets really hot :

Good point. I rarely have my laptop on my lap, but either way I find this very worrying as it can get us when on our laps or desks.

Jaysteddy said,
Was the engineer working on a firewall?


Was he really an engineer if he was working on a Firewall? Was he creating or simply managing?

Urgh, I sure hope my laptop never goes up in flames. If I survived the initial blast, I still may not be able to see, have normal non scar tissue skin, be able to reproduce....etc.

Hopefully the safeguards are there.

I wouldnt think an explosion from a laptop would be powerful enough to instantly char a body D= burns yes, but instantly char?

LonelyCooler said,
I wouldnt think an explosion from a laptop would be powerful enough to instantly char a body D= burns yes, but instantly char?


I was thinking the same thing. If the explosion was enough to put him in shock and or knock him unconcious from lack of O2 then he would have passed out...etc. But I doubt that.

Having said that, Lithium under the right conditions is pretty darn reactive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS2hGoJVmlA#t=1m

isn't it obvious, his roommate was being blackmailed by some incriminating movie of him on the laptop. killed his blackmailer, didn't have an alibi and put the body and laptop on fire to hide the evidence.

It actually does strike me a little odd that a blast powerful enough to kill a man wouldn̢۪t have caused a lot of other damage. A flash of fire strong enough to burn someone̢۪s skin off I could see, but to kill on impact? That takes a lot of power. I would expect to see the drywall on the other side of the desk (assuming it was against a wall) blown in and other damage to surrounding objects, desk, chair, laptop itself blown apart, not just burned.

I'm not saying the other guy did it, just that this seems odd to me.