A 35-year-old man from Exmouth, Devon suffered third degree burns after an e-cigarette battery exploded in his pocket. David Yeo was sitting in his home when the spare battery for his smoking substitute burst into flames.
His leg suffered serious third degree burns that required immediate skin grafting. The recycling center worker need major recovery from the horrific burns and the trauma he had following the accident.
"There was a massive band and flames shot out. I tried to drop to the floor to put myself out, but the hallway was too small," Yeo recalled.
"I was lucky my girlfriend was there. She was beating the flames out as I was trying to remove my jeans. I was in a state of complete shock - I was shaking and screaming," he added.
Upon managing to tear his clothes off, the couple called an ambulance. Though he was sent home from the hospital that night, he was advised to go back every day for bandage changing. He has been signed off from his work, a job he started just a month ago.
He urges e-cigarette users to be extra careful in handling their devices. This is not the first time an incident like this happened. In fact, in the past couple of months, several similarcases were reported in many locations.
Earlier this year, a man from Texas sued the shop where he purchased his e-cigarette after suffering severe burns in his leg and crotch after the device exploded in his pocket. Authorities suspect that the batteries caused the explosion.
In another case in Colorado, a man was hospitalized when his e-cigarette exploded in his face. Cordero Caples, 29 years old, suffered severe injuries such as a broken neck, facial fractures, burns around the mouth and shattered teeth.
In October, 21-year-old Evan Spahlinger was in a serious condition after his e-cigarette device exploded on his face. He was in a medically-induced coma after being found unconscious by his wife after the device exploded. Following the incident, his neck and face were covered in serious burns.
In 2014, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that around 2.5 million Americans are using e-cigarettes. Though exploding e-cigarettes are rare, they received 25 reports of exploding incidents from 2009 to 2014.
According to the report, most incidents happened while the battery was charging and the lithium-ions batteries are seen as culprits in most cases. Thus, they urge users to charge the batteries in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and to handle these devices properly.
Photo: Lauri Rantala | Flickr