A Texas man recently became the second person to die because of an e-cigarette explosion. He was only 24 years old and was reportedly using the e-cigarette in his car when the explosion happened. His grandmother told CBS News that if he had been hit by a car or something “it would have made sense. This doesn’t make sense.”
Another such death occurred in May 2018, when a Florida man was killed after a vape pen exploded in a house in St Petersburgh, Florida, causing a fire.
Texas Man Dies from E-Cigarette Explosion
The Texas explosion occurred on January 27, 2019, in the parking lot of a vaping shop near Beach and Golden Triangle in Fort Worth. According to the CBS News report, the victim went to the shop not to purchase anything, but to ask for help with the Mechanical Mod style e-cigarette he was using. The manager wasn’t able to accommodate him, telling CBS that his shop didn’t sell that brand because it was known to “have issues.”
(Other news outlets, including the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, state that the victim stopped at the store and bought the vaping pen there.)
A few minutes later, that same manager called for emergency help when he saw that the man was in trouble in the parking lot. Before the ambulance arrived, the victim managed to get out of the vehicle but collapsed on the pavement. Emergency personnel took the victim to a hospital and he was placed into a medical coma, but he died two days later.
Imaging tests revealed that a piece of the e-cigarette had lodged in the victim’s throat, severing his left carotid artery and causing a stroke. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as penetrating trauma from an exploding vaporizer pen.
The victim’s grandmother told the Fort-Worth Star Telegram that the victim was not a regular smoker, but had heard that the vaping device might help with his asthma symptoms. She recovered the device’s battery after the incident and gave it to the investigator on the case.
Florida Man Suffers Severe Wounds to Face that Lead to His Death
This is the second reported death caused by an e-cigarette explosion. In 2018, a 38-year-old man was found dead after a house fire in St. Petersburgh. Firefighters received a call from a smoke alarm monitoring company and found the victim inside a second-floor bedroom. The deputy fire marshal gathered evidence on the scene, and according to NBC News, determined that the e-cigarette was what started the fire in the first place.
The autopsy report later showed that exploding vape pen fragments had been hurled into the man’s head, killing him and starting the fire, which ended up burning most of the man’s body. The cause of death was determined to be a projectile wound to the head. This particular e-cigarette was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain.
E-cigarette explosions are also known to cause serious injuries. In 2017, for example, a 30-year-old Idaho man suffered second-degree burns to the neck and lost nine teeth after his e-cigarette exploded while he was using it.
The U.S. Fire Administration reported in 2017 that there were a total of 195 separate incidences of explosion and fire involving an electronic cigarette in the U.S. between January 2009 and December 31, 2016.
A 2018 study, however, suggested that these types of incidences are widely underreported. After analyzing data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers found an estimated 2,035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries presenting to U.S. hospital emergency departments between 2015 and 2017.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.