Man Dies After an E-Cigarette Exploded in His Face

Exploding vape pens and e-cigarettes are racking up a serious kill count.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office report on the death of William Brown is grisly. It reads like a coroner’s review of Saw V. “Cerebral infarction and herniation.” “Dissection of left internal carotid artery.” In other words, part of someone’s head exploded and they bled to death. What could cause such damage? A bullet? A meth lab explosion? A tiny explosive charge implanted by some homicidal madman? That last guess comes closest. What really killed William Brown was penetrating trauma from an exploding vaporizer pen.

Exploding Vaporizer Pen Caused Fort Worth Man’s Untimely Demise

Exploding vaporizer pens are racking up a serious kill list. And their latest victim is 24-year-old William Brown of Forth Worth, Texas. At 3:45 p.m. on January 29, 2019, Brown passed away. He had been in the hospital for two days since his e-cigarette device exploded in his face. Doctors and surgeons couldn’t repair the explosive damage caused to his head and face.

Explosions in cheap vaporizer pens always originate in the battery. On cheap pens, batteries leak and are often faulty. Cheap Lithium-ion batteries are prone to catching fire. They also suck at standing up to even moderately inclement weather. Cold below 50 or temps above 90, and the batteries stop working properly, overheating, short circuiting, catching fire—exploding.

But even using vape pens, especially the cheap ones, poses serious risks. Too many charges and the battery starts to get covered in this stuff called Dendrite. Dendrite is conductive. And about as flammable as gasoline. Once it covers the battery and creates a short between the two electrodes….Boom. That’s usually what happens when vape pens explode. If people are lucky enough to make it out with their lives, they’re often left with severe burns, fractured face bones and missing teeth.

Faulty Vape Pens Act Like Miniature Hand Grenades

The explosion that killed William Brown was small. But it packed a lethal punch. The medical examiner’s report details how metal shrapnel from the exploding battery and cartridge of the e-cig vaporizer peppered Brown’s skull. The shrapnel penetrated Brown’s brain, severing a major artery.

The explosion happened not when Brown was at home, but instead in a Fort Worth vape shop. Shop employees were able to call 911 and first responders rushed Brown to a nearby hospital. Two days later, he died.

The dangers of exploding e-cigarettes are real and on the rise as vaping grows in popularity. More people are vaping today than ever. Between 2009 and 2014, before the meteoric rise of vaping’s popularity, there were more than two dozen cases of e-cigs exploding. Online today, you can find innumerable stories of pens blowing up, catching fire, sparking, shorting out and more.

If you recognize any of those symptoms in your vape pen—stop using it! Buy a new one—and get a good one! Whatever it costs, it’s worth it. And you won’t regret it—or not live long enough not to.

Drury, ByAdam. “Man Dies After an E-Cigarette Exploded in His Face.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Feb. 2019, greenrushdaily.com/news/man-dies-after-an-e-cigarette-exploded-in-his-face/.

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