Three months after a laptop snag killed an MNC employee, another man in Kolkata was found dead close to his burnt laptop in his bedroom, police said on Sunday. Asphyxiation is suspected to be the cause of death.
The body of Saptarishi Sarkar, 30, an employee of a private firm, was detected around 11 am Sunday. The bachelor's bedroom was full of smoke when its door was opened in Haridevpur neighbourhood in the southern fringes of the city, police said.
"Saptarishi Sarkar was found dead inside his house. All the windows and doors of his room were closed and it was full of smoke and there was an acrid smell. A burnt laptop near his bed was found which probably caught fire from a cigarette that he was smoking," said Tapan Paul of the Haridevpur police station.
His body has been sent for post-mortem, said Paul, ruling out any foul play.
"It seems he fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand and the laptop kept nearby caught fire. With all windows closed he may have died of asphyxiation," added Paul.
Another city resident Sayan Chowdhury, a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, was found dead under similar circumstances in November 2011. A partially charred laptop was found close to his body. The laptop was plugged to a charger and its earphones were in the victim's ears.
Experts feel the habit of using a laptop on a bed or going to sleep with the device could prove fatal.
Using a laptop on a bed is dangerous because the bed, being soft, interrupts the airflow beneath the machine. "Proper ventilation is a must. You cannot imagine how much heat a laptop generates. It should always be placed on a plain hard surface,” said an expert.
Instances of death in similar circumstances have earlier been reported in Romania and New Zealand where adolescents died of electrocution while using laptops put on a charger.