A 19-year-old remains comatose in Taiwan after being electrocuted by a suspected electrical leakage during a karaoke session with friends. Doctors have warned that the victim, surnamed Hui, could spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state.

A friend of Hui’s told Apple Daily that they and another friend were singing at a karaoke and shrimp-fishing compound in Kaohsiung’s Daliao district when Hui let out a shout and collapsed as he was singing, still clutching the microphone.

Hui’s friends thought it was a prank at first, but when he remained unresponsive after ten seconds or so, they called the police. The pair also received a slight electric shock when they tried to move the microphone away.

Hui had been barefoot at the time and the sole of right foot was found to have a blister after the incident. He currently remains comatose in an intensive care unit, where doctors warned his family that the accident could leave him permanently brain-dead or in a vegetative state.

The manager of the karaoke compound told the police that there had been no leakage of electricity and that nothing looked out of place with the room. Further investigation will determine whether the establishment had in fact been negligent.


An industry professional said that the electric shock could be especially serious if it took place in an environment which was wet and if the victim had not worn shoes, as was the case with Hui.

A similar incident took place in Guangxi, China two years ago, when a female university student was electrocuted to death at a karaoke bar.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.