Man dies after electronic cigarette explodes in his mouth, sets him on fire

It exploded in his mouth [Photo: Courtesy]

A man has died after his vape pen exploded, piercing his skull with shrapnel.

Tallmadge D’Elia suffered traumatic head injuries and burns to over 80% of his body due to the malfunctioning e-cigarette, a post-mortem found.

The 38-year-old had being using the product on May 5 when the device exploded, igniting a blaze at the beach resort home of his parents in St Petersburg, Florida, s

Firefighters from the St Petersburg Fire Rescue arrived at the address and found “extensive” fire damage to the room where his body was found, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner.

The 38-year-old suffered a massive brain injury

The post-mortem ruled his death was accidental and listed the cause as “projectile wound of head”. It also noted that D’Elia showed signs of “thermal injuries” to his body.

"This is a terrible shock,” his father told ABC News."Anybody who has lost a son doesn't want anybody else to lose a child to something like this."

The vape pen exploded [Photo: Courtesy]

The examiner’s report said the deceased was using a vape pen manufactured by Smok-E Mountain, a company believed to be headquartered in Cebu City, Phillippines.

Mr D’Elia’s death is understood to be the first recorded death due to a vape pen explosion in the United States. However, media has reported numerous other examples of exploding e-ciarettes.

In 2016, a New York man received burns to his hands and legs after a vape pen exploded in his pocket while he was working at Grand Central Station.

A Colorado man broke his neck also lost several teeth when his e-cigarette exploded in his face back in 2015.

Between 2009 and 2016 there were 195 separate incidents involving vape pens, according to the US Fire Administration.


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