In what is believed to be one of the first deaths from an e-cigarette explosion, a 38-year-old man in Florida was killed when his vape pen exploded, sending projectiles into his head and causing a small fire in his house.
Tallmadge D’Elia was found May 5 in the burning bedroom of his family’s home in St. Petersburg, according to the Tampa Bay Times. An autopsy report released his week blamed a vape pen explosion for his death, local news outlets reported.
The cause of death was listed as “projectile wound of head” — the pen exploded into pieces, at least two of which were sent into his head, the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner said — and he suffered burns on about 80 percent of his body.
The “mod”-type pen, distributed by Smok-E Mountain, is manufactured in the Philippines, according to a company Facebook page, the Times reported. The Facebook page is not currently publicly accessible.
According to a report from the U.S. Fire Administration, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there were at least 195 incidents in which an electronic cigarette exploded or caught fire from 2009 through 2016, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were severe. But there were no recorded deaths in the study's period.