A man has warned people not to put their e-cigarettes in their pockets after his battery exploded just inches away from his private parts.
Jason Curmi’s jeans were left shredded when the device exploded saying it ‘scared the crap out of me’. He was left with burns spread up his right thigh which were so severe doctors thought he might need a skin graft.
Jason Curmi’s jeans were left shredded when the device exploded just inches away from his peni (Picture: Joe Newman / Triangle News)
Jason, 46, a father-of-six from Vauxhall, quit smoking three months ago and switched to vaping as he battled his cravings.
But when he got into work one day, he felt a warm sensation in his trouser pocket before the device exploded just seconds later. His colleagues helped him put the blaze out, but his jeans and boxer shorts were left in tatters.
He was taken to hospital and doctors classed his burns as between second and third degree. Three weeks after the accident, he still hasn’t returned to work and says he can barely walk or sit. Jason, who works as a recovery practitioner, helping people to come off drugs and alcohol, was on a training day for his employer when the blast occurred.
Three weeks later he still hasn’t returned to work and can barely walk or sit
‘It was also only two inches from my privates and if I’d been wearing different clothing, it could have blown them to bits,’ he said. ‘The whole thing scared the crap out of me.
‘I lost a lot of skin – they were borderline second to third degree burns, but I just escaped having skin grafts. ‘It was just like a loud explosion, lots of fire coming out of my trousers and the room, which was quite large as it was a conference room, was covered in soot. It smelled very toxic.’ Surgeons warned of the dangers of imported battery packs two years ago after a spate of explosions led to many victims needing skin grafts.
Jason was left with second and third degree burns following the accident (Picture: Triangle News)
Now, Jason, who bought the device from a shop in nearby Eltham, says the imported devices should be more strictly monitored.
He says he wasn’t told that they should not be stored in pockets with other metal items and that most vapers would not know that. He now hopes to receive compensation for his injuries and the time he has had to take off work. A spokesman for Chinese company EFest, which makes the battery packs, has not replied to our request for comment.
He was at work when the battery exploded in his pocket (Picture: Triangle News)
Mark Gardiner, lead officer for product safety at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said he ‘was aware’ of ‘some issues with batteries failing under thermal runaway conditions.’ He added: ‘Given the popularity of the product there doesn’t seem to be a particularly high level of incidents though.’
Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, died on May 5 in St Petersburg, Florida, and is believed to be the first person to be killed by a vape pen. An autopsy report said that a fragment penetrated his skull and became lodged in his brain.