“I remember pressing the button to take the hit,” said Manny Almodovar, “but as soon as that happened, I don't remember anything else. My coworkers actually saw it fly from my teeth all the way 20 feet in the air.”
“The vape decided to blow up. I didn't know what happened until five minutes later. I was on the floor, I woke up, I was unconscious. I was missing two teeth. My hand was black from the smoke of the vape blowing up. I never knew that something like that could happen. It was shocking to me when it did happen. I had no idea that something like that could happen at all.”
The Connecticut vaper had a lucky escape, despite the loss of four teeth (and the prospect of on-going dental work). The incident comes to light as the Stratford Fire Department issue a warning to all vapers.
Deputy Fire Marshal Rob Daniel said: “They call it thermal runaway, which is a chain reaction and once it starts you can't stop it. The problem is that cheaply made aftermarket batteries can short-circuit in milliseconds. He had an angel looking over him, because it was basically an explosion in his mouth. It could have had deadly consequences.”
While vapers might feel sorry for the suffering Almodovar has gone through, the same might not be said for Tim Jensen. Jensen’s lawyer has announced this week that he intends to sue for damages after a Li-ion cell injured him: “The people that sell, distribute, manufacture these batteries, that's who we want to teach a lesson to.”
Why? Jensen believes that it was somebody’s job to instruct him on all the things he shouldn’t place in his pocket next to an insulated but fully charged battery. He reckons the 60 staples and skin grafts were someone else’s fault, not his.
Nobody knows how the vaper in Business Class on American Airlines Flight 1129 feels about his venting cells. A McDonnell Douglas MD-80, its crew of five and the 137 passengers had to make an unscheduled stop at Little Rock, Arkansas, due to smoking and sparking coming from a bag. Four fire extinguishers were used to douse the smoldering remains.
American Airlines said the flight “diverted to Little Rock, Arkansas, after a passenger’s electronic cigarette in their possession malfunctioned. The aircraft, an MD-80, landed safely and taxied to the gate. This incident has been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.”
Passengers were eventually supplied with a replacement flight after several hours, to continue their journey to Indianapolis. Planet of the Vapes strongly recommends that all vapers use insulating boxes or sleeves for spare batteries when carrying them about.