Charger

Another day, another round of iPhone electrocution headlines

July 19, 2013: 11:11 AM ET

What's a news cycle without a good Apple scare story?

Counterfeit iPhone charger.

Counterfeit iPhone charger.

FORTUNE -- It is a truth universally acknowledged that one bizarre incident in possession of good news value and an Apple (AAPL) hook must be accompanied by another.

So it is that the reports of the death by electrocution last week of a 23-year-old Chinese stewardess, apparently by way of a faulty third-party iPhone charger, were followed Friday by reports of a second Chinese iPhone electrocution -- again via third-party charger and a wall socket of uncertain grounding.

According to the second story -- reported Thursday by the Beijing Evening News and picked up by outlets from AppleInsider to Morning Joe -- 30-year-old Wu Jian Tong was plugging his iPhone 4 into the wall when he shouted (in Chinese) "I'm getting shocked," stopped breathing and had to be rushed to the hospital, where he was still comatose 10 days later.

If there's a lesson here -- beyond the rules of second-day journalism -- it's that using knock-off iPhone chargers carries risks, especially in countries where you're not always sure the electrical wiring is up to code.

For background on what separates a good charger from a bad, I recommend Ken Shirriff's primers:

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