A 26-year-old man suffered severe burns on his hands and legs after the battery of an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket while he was at his workplace at Tilton, New Hampshire.

Matthew Gilson from Moultonborough obtained second- and third-degree burns as a result of the incident. A surveillance video shows smoke from the explosion emerging from Gilson before he runs off.

Gilson, an employee at the store that assembled his vaporizer, underwent his second surgery last Monday and received multiple skin grafts. His recovery is expected to take months.

His mother, Laura McCrea, said that he was in good spirits post-surgery but also suffered a lot of pain.

“It just blew up within a matter of minutes,” McCrea recounted in a local media interview, saying her son was so badly burned “down to his flesh.”

The explosion shredded the victim’s pants and underwear, added McCrea.

It was unknown whether Gilson had the entire e-cigarette unit in his pocket or just the battery.

In an effort to curb his smoking habit, Gilson bought his e-cigarette a month before. According to his mother, the store put the vaporizer together for her son.

A man from Glasgow in the United Kingdom also suffered the same fate, getting second-degree burns when an e-cigarette he purchased on eBay – particularly a “Cherry Bomber” vaporizer – exploded as well.

Marc McParland was rushed to the hospital after his hand was engulfed in flames. The 21-year-old hotel worker, who quit smoking a year ago, needed specialist medical treatment for his severe burns on his hand, fingers and wrist.

“I heard a crackle and hiss before the vape burst into a huge flame like a proper fiery explosion,” recalled McParland in an interview, adding that he managed to kick the flame out by the time someone saw him and came to his aid.

He warned of the risks of buying these products over the Internet, and said the device itself was sent without actual instructions. “[T]he only real information I could gather was which extra equipment to acquire in terms of batteries and a multi-meter,” he explained.

Both the China-based manufacturer of the battery in Gilson’s case and the eBay seller that sold the vaporizer to McParland could not be reached for comment.

Other burn incidents from e-cigarettes have surfaced, with some directly citing the explosion of the device’s battery.

E-cigarettes are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. They create a vapor for users to inhale, with a LED light at the top that is triggered to simulate the flame seen in a regular cigarette.

Although these devices provide nicotine that can get someone hooked like the nicotine in regular cigarettes, they come with no actual combustion.

Shoddy manufacturing practices have been identified for many risks associated with e-cigarettes, leading to contamination during production, parts melting when in contact with the heating coil during vaping and even exploding batteries.

Photo: Vaping360.com | Flickr

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