Mobile Phone Explosion Blamed for Death of Cradle Fund CEO

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Nazrin was killed by shrapnel from a handphone explosion.

A mobile phone on the bed or bedside that exploded while being charged could have caused the bedroom fire and the death of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd CEO Nazrin Hassan yesterday.

A message from the family that has been circulating on social media quoted Nazrin’s brother-in-law as claiming that at some point the phone had overheated and exploded, causing a blunt trauma at the back of Nazrin’s head and resulted in his death.

According to the brother-in-law whose name was not mentioned in the message, the mattress too had caught fire but Nazrin was already dead by then.

“He had two phones, one Blackberry and a Huawei. We don’t know which one exploded. Who would have thought such an innocuous routine procedure is the reason three young kids will grow up without their father by their side,” the message said.

According to the police, Nazrin was trapped in a bedroom fire at his double-storey terrace house in Mutiara Damansara yesterday and probably died of smoke inhalation. He had also suffered around 30% burns on his body.

The StarĀ reported that Cradle Fund confirmed in a statement on Friday that Nazrin died after his handphone exploded.

“The post-mortem report concluded the cause of death as being complication of blast injuries attributable to an exploding handphone that was being charged next to him,” the company’s management said.

“Speculation on the cause of his death is completely unnecessary and unacceptable at this time.

“We request for everyone to respect the privacy of the family during this time of grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those he touched on his journey,” it added.

Nazrin was educated in Britain with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons) from the University of Buckingham in 1994 and was also an executive committee member of the UK Executive Council for Malaysian Students.

From 1997 to 2000, was served as an executive in corporate finance at CIMB before launching his own startup, Zarnet, in 2001, Cradle said in its statement.

He was a former council member of the Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM), where he lobbied for a development fund to narrow the funding gap in the early stage.

This led to the introduction of the Cradle Investment Programme (CIP) in June 2003 with a fund allocation of RM100 million from the Government, as part of an economic stimulus package.

CIP was initially managed by Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (Mavcap) and Nazrin became the programme’s Head of Structuring in July 2003.

In 2004, he was appointed the programme’s acting head as well as its strategy and policy advisor.

He left the programme in 2005 to focus on his own technology startup and continued to be an active member of TeAM, but returned to Cradle in October 2007 as its chief executive officer after it was spun off from Mavcap.

Nazrin leaves behind his wife Samirah Muzaffar, a senior executive at the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO), their young son, three stepsons and a son from a previous marriage.

Earlier report: June 14, Start-Up Fund Cradle CEO Dies in Home Fire