Man’s carotid artery severed, killing him, after vape pen explodes

Man’s carotid artery severed, killing him, after vape pen explodes

Sarah Sarder

The Dallas Morning News

A Fort Worth man died last week after his vape pen exploded, causing a piece of the device to penetrate a major artery.

William Brown, 24, was at the Smoke & Vape DZ store in North Fort Worth when the incident took place Tuesday. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was declared dead at 3:45 p.m.

The Tarrant County medical examiner listed Brown’s death as an accident caused by “penetrating trauma from exploding vaporizer pen” that dissected his left internal carotid artery.

A store employee who witnessed the death said the vaporizer was not purchased at the store. He said authorities had instructed him not to talk about details of the death.

In 2017, the U.S. Fire Administration reported 133 acute injuries from e-cigarettes, vaporizers and other similar devices between 2009 and 2016, with most fires and explosions occurring while the e-cigarette was in a pocket or being used. None of those injuries resulted in death, according to the report.

The agency reported that e-cigarettes present a unique hazard because of the presence of a lithium-ion battery in a device used so close to the face. Additionally, the shape of e-cigarettes makes them more likely to act like “flaming rockets” if a battery fails, the USFA said.

“No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body,” the report said. “It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen. 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.”


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