Autopsy confirms St. Petersburg man died from vape pen explosion


A former CNBC producer was killed when his e-cigarette exploded and lodged in his skull. according to an autopsy.

Tallmadge D'Elia, 38, died May 5 in a house fire with about 80 percent of his body burned. The report lists the cause of death as "projectile wound of the head".

The 38-year-old's vape pen was reportedly a device made in the Philippines that is unregulated. It still remains unclear as to what prompted the pen to combust in the first place; however, shoddy manufacturing may be an option.

The Food and Drug Administration says it's not clear what causes some vape pens to explode, but it could stem from battery-related issues. And in 2016, a vape pen user in NY suffered third-degree burns after the pen exploded in his trousers, NBC 4 NY reported.

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The vape pen was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain and is a "mod" type, according to the report.

Vape pens are electronic cigarettes that produce vapor that users inhale.

A representative from Smok-E Mountain told ABC Action News that their devices do not explode.

One store selling vaping devices says the e-cigarettes come with "no safety features and no regulation".

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The report blamed the incidents on the prevalence of lithium-ion batteries in the products. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that "there were 195 separate e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents in the United States reported by the media between 2009 and 2016".

He explained: 'Any other e-cig that has a computer chip in it prevents that from happening'.

A recent FEMA report explained that vaping pen explosions are very rare, but said when they do happen the devices become like "flaming rockets". They include a man losing several teeth and suffering second-degree burns in January 2017 when a vape pen exploded. In 2016, an e-cigarette exploded in a NY man's trousers pocket.

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