A man needed 65 stitches in serious facial wounds after an e-cigarette exploded in his face.
The 25-year-old says a lithium battery inside the e-cigarette exploded, ripping away a chunk of flesh from his face and breaking several teeth.
The man, David Bishop from Cordova in Tennessee, USA, says he was also splashed with battery acid causing chemical or heat burns to his left hand, face, mouth and tongue.
He has now filed law suits against three companies he says were involved in selling the e-cigarette and the two lithium batteries that powered it but they have denied doing anything wrong.
Lithium-ion batteries can on rare occasions go into what is known as thermal runaway. When this happens one cell overheating in a battery can produce enough heat – up to 900°C (1652°F) – to cause adjacent cells to overheat. This can cause a lithium battery fire to flare repeatedly or even explode.
The case has been revealed by online media magazine Commercial Appeal and the case put forward by Mr Bishop’s lawyer quotes from a 2017 report produced by the US Fire Administration which is part of the Federal Emergency Management agency.
The report states that “the consequences can be devastating and life-altering for the victims" when an e-cigarette explodes.
A total of 195 incidents of explosion and fire involving an electronic cigarette were reported in the media between January 2009 and December 2016 according to the US Fire Administration.
Its report adds that the number of reported incidents resulted in 133 injuries and 38 were severe, but warns that many other small fires were likely not reported to any fire department.
Two men are reported to have been killed by exploding e-cigarettes in the last two years in the USA. A 38-year-old man was killed in St Petersburg, Florida, in May 2018 when a vape pen blew two projectiles into his head and caused a fire that burned 80% of his body, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
And a 24-year-old man died two days after a vape pen explosion in Fort Worth, Texas, severed the carotid artery in his neck, The Washington Post reported.
Incidents of thermal runaway are on the rise and are now regarded as a serious safety issue on board aircraft. One way to tackle such incidents is to use an AvSax fire containment bag which can deal with fires in personal electronic devices and are now carried on aircraft operated by 65 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known.
AvSax – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 - has been used more than 30 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.
More than 13,500 AvSax are now carried on aircraft worldwide. Deployment is so effective that extremely expensive diversions to alternate airports are avoided.
* Written by Andy Hirst at AH! PR http://www.ah-pr.com