Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS OF THE WORLD -

FLORIDA - A US man died when a vape pen blew up and pro­jected frag­ments into his skull, a post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion has found. Tall­madge D'Elia also suf­fered burns over 80% of his body in a fire on 5 May caused by the ex­plod­ing e-cig­a­rette, ac­cord­ing to foren­sic of­fi­cials.

The 38-year-old's body was dis­cov­ered by fire­fight­ers in the burn­ing bed­room of his fam­ily home in the beach re­sort of St Petersburg, Florida.

It is be­lieved to be the first US death from a vape pen ex­plo­sion.

The tele­vi­sion pro­ducer's death has been ruled an ac­ci­dent. The Pinel­las-Pasco Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner said the of­fi­cial cause of death was “pro­jec­tile wound of head”, re­ports the Tampa Bay Times.

Two pieces of the vape pen were found in his cra­nium, ac­cord­ing to the au­topsy. The re­port said emer­gency crews en­coun­tered “ex­ten­sive” fire dam­age to the bed­room where the body was found, but min­i­mal smoke.

The elec­tronic cig­a­rette was man­u­fac­tured by Smok-E Moun­tain, said the med­i­cal ex­am­iner.

Christopher D’Elia, the dead man’s fa­ther, told ABC Ac­tion News it was a “ter­ri­ble shock”.

“Any­body who has lost a son doesn’t want any­body else to lose a child to some­thing like this,” he said. It’s not en­tirely clear and is not writ­ten in the post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion re­port.

The vape pen that Mr D’Elia was us­ing was mod­i­fied, mean­ing it al­lowed the user more ac­cess to the bat­tery and did not reg­u­late the volt­age in the same way as other e-cig­a­rettes.

The pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Va­p­ing As­so­ci­a­tion told the New York Times that most other eci­garettes have more safety fea­tures than so-called me­chan­i­cal mods. Such safety fea­tures can in­clude com­puter chips.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the man­u­fac­turer, Smok-E Moun­tain, blamed the de­vice’s bat­tery for the ex­plo­sion when speak­ing to ABC Ac­tion News. They also said it might have been down to the mouth­piece.

Vape pens use lithium-ion bat­ter­ies, favoured in smart­phones and other portable elec­tronic de­vices be­cause they can pro­vide high amounts of elec­tric­ity us­ing lit­tle space.

They are used through­out the world with few in­ci­dents, but in 2016 Sam­sung halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 phone be­cause some were catch­ing fire when the bat­ter­ies short-cir­cuited.

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