PETERSBURG An exploding vape pen launched a projectile into the head of a 38-year-old man earlier this month, fatally wounding him, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner.
The pen exploded into pieces, at least two of which were sent into his head, the medical examiner said, ad he suffered burns on about 80 percent of his body. The death was ruled an accident. Many electronic cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, but some owners like to use larger devices such as tank systems or "mods". Tallmadge "Wake" D'Elia's official cause of death, which is the first e-cigarette fatality in the USA, was listed as "projectile wound of the head" and ruled accidental.
The vape was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain.
There were at least 195 incidents in which an electronic cigarette exploded or caught fire from 2009 through 2016, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were severe.
Reports do not indicate what caused this particular e-cig explosion, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims that e-cigarette explosion incidents can be related to problems with the battery in a vaping pen. "In this case, with an e-vapor product, it's close to the face".
A recent FEMA report explained that vaping pen explosions are very rare, but said when they do happen the devices become like "flaming rockets".
And a vape pen exploded in a man's trousers in 2016 in New York, NBC4 reported.
None of those cases was fatal.
"We've put the caution out before", Kiklas said.
Use vapes with safety features, including protection against overcharging. The representative said that it was likely an atomizer (the part a person inserts into their mouth) or a battery issue that caused the explosion.
The FDA also recommends replacing batteries if they get damaged or wet.