A 24-year-old man was killed in Texas last week when his vape pen exploded — slicing open his carotid artery and leaving his grandmother’s car covered in blood.
According to the New York Post, William Brown died after his left internal carotid artery was severed due to trauma from the exploding vape pen he just bought from Smoke & Vape DZ in Keller, a town just north of Fort Worth, his distraught grandmother told local station WFAA.
“He popped it and it exploded, and that’s when it shot across his mouth,” Alice Brown told the station.
Ms Brown claimed the device’s battery malfunctioned, melting bits of plastic from her car to the vape pen — which launched the charred debris into her grandson’s face and neck, leaving her car soaked in blood.
Mr Brown died at John Peter Smith Hospital two days later, she said.
“When they X-rayed him, they found the stem, the metal embedded to where the blood flows up to the brain,” Ms Brown continued.
Funeral services for Mr Brown, a licensed electrician who wasn’t a regular smoker, are scheduled for later this week, his grandmother said.
He purchased the device on Jan. 27 while on the way to the bank.
He suffered from asthma and was told that a specialised vape pen might help improve his breathing.
After the blast, Mr Brown managed to crawl out of the car and collapsed on the pavement.
A nearby witness called an ambulance and a medical examiner later ruled that his cause of death was penetrating trauma from the exploding vaporiser, making him at least the second person in the United States to be killed by an exploding e-cigarette.
Ms Brown said an investigator in the case told her the device’s battery caused the deadly explosion. She searched her vehicle and found a piece of the battery with its serial number.
US Fire Administration statistics from 2017 showing that 133 acute injuries from e-cigarettes, vaporisers and other similar devices were reported between 2009 and 2016.
Most of the fires and explosions occurred while the device was being used or stored in a pocket and none had resulted in death, according to the report.
But a Florida man named Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, suffered multiple injuries to his face when he was killed by an exploding e-cigarette last May. A medical examiner’s report listed his cause of death as a “projectile wound of the head,” leaving him with burns on about 80 per cent of his body, the Star-Telegram reports.
One of the pieces removed from D’Elia’s head featured the logo of Smok-E Mountain Mech Works, a company based in the Philippines, according to the New York Times.
This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.