Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Autopsy shows exploding vape pen, not fire, killed St. Pete man

Autopsy shows exploding vape pen, not fire, killed St. Pete man

The Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner reported that the pen exploded, sending at least two pieces hurling into the air with such force that they penetrated D'Elia's skull and brain. The office ruled his death accidental.

A vape pen has killed a man by exploding and hurling fragments into his head and starting a fire that burned most of his body.

A Philippine company named Smoke-E Mountain manufactures the pen that caused Wake's death.

The vape pen exploded, causing a fire in his home and burning at least 45 percent of his body.

It's still unclear what caused the device to explode.

This Tuesday, authorities confirmed that it was an explosion from an electronic cigarette that killed Tallmadge D'Elia in St. Petersburg, Florida, this month. "The vast majority of vaping devices on the market carry the same fire risk as other products that use lithium-ion batteries, such as cellphones and laptops".

He added that the e-cigarettes used by most people who vape have more built-in safety features. However Mr D'Elia is believed to be the first person to die from an e-cigarette malfunction.

A U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report, released in 2017 and covering the periods 2009-2016, attributed catastrophic injuries from e-cigarette explosions to a product design problem, i.e., using cylindrical lithium-ion batteries in cylindrical tubes.

The owner of Lizard Juice, an e-cigarette retailer in Florida, said he does not think such vaping pens are "safe enough". Instead, they sell vape pens with a computer chip inside, which keeps the device from overheating.

A representative from Smok-E-Mountain told the news outlet that its vapes don't explode and said the fire was likely to be started because of the atomizer or a battery issue.

While the exact circumstances surrounding the explosion are unknown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against carrying e-cig batteries loose in pockets to avoid coming in contact with coins, keys or metal objects.

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