Man killed by exploding vape pen when shards of glass embedded in his skull

A man has died from a ‘projectile wound to the head’ after his vape pen exploded then set him on fire.

Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, died on May 5 in St Petersburg, Florida, and is believed to be the first person to be killed by a vape pen.

An autopsy report said that a fragment penetrated his skull and became lodged
in his brain.

Deputy fire marshal Steven Lawrence said: ‘It can explode and at that point it can project either the pieces of the lighter itself or the vape pen.’

His neighbour identified his body and witnessed his house on fire.

She told Fox 6: ‘I saw the smoke coming out of the roof and we were hoping that nobody was home, but then we found out that Wake was home.’

It was recorded as being a Smok-E Mountain Mech Works and it is unknown why it exploded.

The company denied that its product was behind the explosion and said that it believes the problem to be as a result of the device’s battery or atomiser.

According to US fire authorities at least 195 e-cigarettes exploded or caught fire between 2009 and 2016.

While there have been no previous deaths, they caused 133 injuries with 38 of them being described as ‘severe’.

Firefighters found TV producer Mr D’Elia inside his burning home, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Officials found ‘extensive’ fire damage in Mr D’Elia’s bedroom, where his body was found, but minimal smoke, the report said.

The explosion sent two pieces of the vape pen into Mr D’Elia’s cranium, the post mortem found.

The report listed the cause of death as ‘projectile wound of the head’.

He also suffered burns on about 80% of his body.

The death was ruled an accident.



METRO UK

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