Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Tallmadge D'Elia was found dead in his burning bed in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

A 38-year-old Florida man was killed when the vape pen he was using exploded, launching two pieces of the object into his head.

Bill Pellan, director of investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office, said the Florida man's death was ruled accidental because the cause of death was a projectile wound to the head.

Injuries to his face suggested that the vape pen exploded.

Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia suffered burns to 80% of his body.

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"This is a awful shock", Christopher D'Elia, the man's father, told ABC Action News. The autopsy revealed that not only had the device exploded and started a fire, it somehow made a projectile wound in D'Elia's skull. It's unclear what caused the pen to explode. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that "there were 195 separate e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents in the United States reported by the media between 2009 and 2016". But there were no recorded deaths in the study's period.

The report blames the incidents on lithium-ion batteries in the products. In this case, the autopsy noted that D'Elia was using a "mod" type e-cigarette manufactured by Smok-E Mountain.

A recent FEMA report explained that vaping pen explosions are very rare, but said when they do happen the devices become like "flaming rockets". "It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen". "Lithium-ion batteries fail in other devices as well, but in a laptop, it's on your lap".

He explained: 'Any other e-cig that has a computer chip in it prevents that from happening'.

According to the Food and Drug Administration the exact causes of vape pen explosions arent yet clear; however, it could stem from battery-related issues. The company says they've had problems with other companies cloning their batteries, which makes them less safe.

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