E-Cig Explosion Risks Underscored in Viral Video

November 14, 2016

Ellis Law Corporation


Individuals who use e-cigarette vaping devices are encouraged to watch a shocking video taken October 29 that recently went viral. The footage shows a French nightclub manager, Amine Britel, being engulfed in flames after his e-cig battery spontaneously exploded in his jacket pocket. Britel told authorities he believes the device’s hot battery touched some coins in his pocket, causing the blast. In the video, captured on CCTV outside of the Toulouse nightclub, you see Britel using his vape pen and then putting it back in his pocket. Seconds later, the man’s clothing is surrounded by sparks and flames, catching Britel completely off guard. In the video, Britel can be seem desperately trying to remove his jacket, as two bystanders rush to his aid.

Within a few moments, the fire was put out, but Britel was left with serious second degree burns all over his torso, hip and hands. While the manufacturer of the e-cigarette has not been disclosed as of yet, Britel told French media that he reported the explosion to a China-based company.

The disturbing footage is a stark reminder about the dangers posed by defective e-cig batteries, which have been the cause of numerous explosions, injuries and property damage. A vape pen explosion has even been blamed for the death of an English man in 2014. According to reports, the victim’s e-cigarette caught fire while it was charging, igniting his oxygen concentrator.

Increase in e-cigarette explosion incidents

E-cigarettes are powered by tiny lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and explode.  Statistics show that 80 percent of explosions occur when the devices are charging, and a large number of these incidents involved off-brand chargers that were not sold with the unit, suggesting a malfunction in the battery.

Over the past few years, there have been dozens of reports detailing gruesome injuries tied to e-cigarette explosions. Some vape pen users have had teeth knocked out, or suffered disfiguring burns to the mouth, tongue and face.

Just last April, 22-year-old Otis Stovall of Phoenix, Arizona suffered third degree burns all down his leg when his vaporizer pen caught fire out of the blue. Like others who have suffered similar fates, Stovall says he switched to vaping “to stop lighting up” tobacco, thinking it was a safer and healthier choice.

Amid rising safety concerns about electronic cigarette battery risks, a team of doctors from the University of Washington Medical Center penned a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, outlining the types of injuries they have treated.

Their report listed the following types of e-cig explosion injuries:

  • 33 percent of victims suffered chemical burns
  • 80 percent of victims suffered burns caused by fire
  • 27 percent of victims suffered blast-related injuries

Lawsuits being filed against manufacturers

The personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law remain committed to making sure that the manufacturers of dangerous devices are held accountable for their negligence. Numerous victims across the nation have already begun filing e-cigarette explosion lawsuits against Chinese-based manufacturers including iPV Technology Co., Kangertec and Sigelei.

For a free consultation about your rights to compensation, call us anytime at 310-641-3335.