Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Frederick Owens
May 17, 2018

He was found inside his burning Florida home by firefighters, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

FEMA recently reported that there were nearly 200 incidents involving exploding vape pens between 2000 and 2016, but D'Elia is the first person in the United States to die as a outcome.

FEMA, the government agency that tracks e-cigarette statistics, confirmed the death was the first in the US caused by a vape pen.

The electronic cigarette was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain, said the medical examiner.

The Pinellas County's Medical Examiner ruled the death as accidental.

An autopsy has confirmed that a man died after his e-cigarette exploded, penetrated his brain and left him with burns to 80 per cent of his body.

The Food and Drug Administration says it's not clear what causes some vape pens to explode, but it could stem from battery-related issues.

The brand of vaping pen was recorded as Smok-E Mountain Mech Works which produces unregulated e-cigarettes described as not coming with'safety features

Claiming its devices do not explode, a rep for the maker tells the outlet he suspects something went wrong with the atomizer or battery, noting copycat batteries are an issue.

According to a FEMA report, Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia (above, insert) was killed on May 5 in his St. Petersburg, Florida bedroom.

Unlike D'Elia, Boeske survived the explosion and will likely recover from his 1 and 2 degree burns.

Government agencies continue studying the health effects of e-cigarettes, and at this time there are no regulations to either the mechanics of the devices or the batteries that are used in them. The pen does not come with safety features to ensure the device doesn't overheat, according to an online product description.

"The combination of an electronic cigarette and a lithium-ion battery is a new and unique hazard", the report [PDF] found. In another incident, the pen exploded in a NY man's trousers.

A report from the U.S. Fire Administration blames 195 incidents from 2009 to 2016 on e-cigs exploding or catching fire, resulting in 133 injuries of which 38 were severe.

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