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Man Killed by Exploding E-Cigarette in St. Petersburg, Florida

May 16, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, FL- reports that a 38-year-old man was killed when his vaping cigarette exploded on May 5, 2018. Tallmadge D-Elia’s body was found after a house fire in Pinellas County burned up 80% of his body. According to reports from the medical examiner, evidence suggests that the man was killed by an exploding vape pen.*

An autopsy report stated that two pieces that broke off from the vape pen became projectiles and that the e-cigarette’s mouthpiece was found lodged in the victim’s brain. 

In the years between January 2009 and December 2016, 133 reported injuries have been attributed to fires and explosions resulting from e-cigarettes. While this was the first reported death from an exploding e-cigarette, a man in Idaho suffered severe injuries and lost some of his teeth when his device exploded in his mouth. The suspected cause of these accidents are the devices’ lithium-ion batteries. The United States Fire Administration has stated that although the chance of these batteries exploding is extremely low, e-cigarettes are the only consumer product that use a battery with known explosions risks so close to vital human body parts. When these explosions occur, projectiles from the device can be like bullets according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

The Food and Drug Administration advises people to use caution when vaping. Make use of safety features designed to protect against overcharging, do not keep the device loose in your pocket with change, only use the charger that came with the device, do not charge it overnight or unattended, and replace any damaged batteries or batteries that have gotten wet.

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Category: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.