Autopsy shows exploding vape pen, not fire, killed St. Pete man


In an incredibly freakish twist, a 38-year-old Florida man has died due to what authorities are calling a "projectile wound of the head" which was caused by his vape device.

An exploding vaping pen caused the world's first death by an e-cigarette explosion.

In an autopsy report seen by ABC Action News, examiners explained that the e-cigarette made a "projectile wound" in D'Elia's skull, becoming lodged in his brain. His official cause of death was listed as "projectile wound of the head" and ruled accidental.

Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia died on Cinco de Mayo in St. Petersburg after his vape pen burst into flames in his bedroom. This incident marks the first confirmed case in which an e-cigarette explosion resulted in a fatality.

According to the Food and Drug Administration the exact causes of vape pen explosions arent yet clear; however, it could stem from battery-related issues.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which keeps stats on e-cigarettes reported that there were 195 incidents in which e-cigs exploded or caught fire in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 - 38 of these resulted in injuries classed as "severe". "Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions, some of which have resulted in serious injuries", states the site.

Smok-E Mountain, however, told ABC its e-cigarettes do not explode, suggesting instead that the device's battery or atomizer was likely to blame. "While the failure rate of the lithium-ion batteries is very small, the consequences of a failure, as we have seen, can be severe and life-altering for the consumer".

E-cigarette users are also recommended to buy their products from reliable sources and to follow the guidelines for use recommended by manufacturers.

You should also avoid using your phone or tablet charger to recharge your device.

Replace batteries when they come in contact with water or if they become damaged. Finally, avoid altering the device, anddo not leave it in extreme temperatures, such as in direct sunlight or in a freezing auto overnight.