A 38 year old Florida man, Tallmadge Wakeman D’Elia, was killed when a vape pen exploded and shot fragments of its casing into his skull. Alexandra Ma, “A Vape Pen Killed A Man After It Exploded And Pierced His Skull,” Business Insider, May 16, 2018.
According to the medical examiners, the man died on May 5 as a result of a ‘projectile wound to the head.’ In addition, he was burned on about 80% of his body because when it exploded, the vape pen also started a fire. This is the first reported death from an exploding vape pen in the United States, although deaths have been reported elsewhere, and many injuries have been caused in the States by vape pens exploding. US Fire Administration statistics show 133 injuries – 38 of them severe – dues to exploding vape pens. This includes such injuries as holes in tongues, and lost eyes.
According to the article in Business Insider, it is not clear why the pen, manufactured by Smok-E Mountain in the Philippines, exploded.
Evidence of exploding vape pens comes on top of “conclusive evidence” that “exposing oneself to e-liquids, either from drinking or touching them, can cause seizures, brain injury, and vomiting.” Erin Brodwin, “11 Key Findings From One Of The Most Comprehensive Reports Ever On The Health Effects Of Vaping,” Business Insider, January 25, 2018