With growing concerns over the health risks associated with smoking, as well as advancements in technology, more and more people are switching from smoking traditional cigarettes to using the generally less harmful electronic cigarettes.
However, as with any new and highly competitive market, some of the devices can be poorly constructed or use cheap and potentially dangerous materials, which can sometimes present a danger to the user.
Just such a thing happened recently in a Kentucky convenience store, when a man attempting to pay for a candy bar at the counter suddenly experienced a fiery explosion in his pocket.
Surveillance cameras captured the incident, which most likely occurred when the man’s loose change came in contact with the lithium-ion battery used to power the e-cig device.
The man, Josh Hamilton, quickly removed the flaming e-cig from his pocket and rushed out of the store, also removing his smoldering pants once he was outside.
A store worker immediately rushed to help, dousing the man with a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Hamilton then entered the store’s bathroom momentarily to survey his injuries before eventually being taken to a nearby hospital to treat the second-degree burns.
“He was giving me money and put his hand in his pocket, so suddenly there was a blast in his pocket and there was fire, big fire, and it was burning,” described gas station attendant Jassie Singh, who used the fire extinguisher to smother the small blaze.
“I was just shocked. ‘What was that! You have a bomb in your pocket?’ I was like, ‘You carry a bomb in your pocket?’ I was totally shocked, and just like, with my hands over my head,” related fellow store employee Manoj Kumar.
In general, e-cig devices are considered to be quite safe to use, as well as posing less of a health risk than traditional cigarettes. Though there have been reports of some exploding or otherwise malfunctioning, such cases are relatively rare, and usually the result of operator error, misuse or negligence.
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