Zimbabwe – A Journalism student at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was hospitalized after her cellphone exploded in her handbag, leaving her unconscious.

The university confirmed that Khanyile Sithole was rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals after she collapsed following the blast in a lecture room on Monday.

Investigations are still underway to establish what could have caused the explosion although experts say mobile phones with faulty batteries or charging systems can explode spontaneously.

Reports indicate that efforts to get a comment from Sithole were fruitless but one of her classmates said the explosion startled most of them into seeking cover.

According to the classmates, the students were all seated waiting for the lecturer to arrive when they heard a loud pop.

He also added that for a moment he thought maybe all the widows had been shattered, only to see smoke coming out of Khanyile’s handbag.

“Khanyile was apparently more shocked than the rest of us. She shot out of her chair and immediately collapsed,” he said.

When the dust had settled and after feeling they were out of danger, some classmates took her to the campus clinic where nurses referred her to UBH for treatment. No one got injured during the incident.

Experts say phone explosions can be caused by defects in manufacturing and usually it is batteries that lead to that.

Contacted for comment, Nust director for marketing and communications Thabani Mpofu said Sithole was stable.

Mpofu said Nust clinic nurses resuscitated Sithole and referred her to UBH for further assessment.

He also said the institution was still to ascertain the exact cause of the explosion.

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