A Queens woman sustained third-degree burns after an e-cigarette battery exploded in her pocket while she was driving on April 7th. "It just exploded out of my pants like a big firecracker," 26-year-old Katrina Williams told CBS 2. "There's consistent burning sensation. My right leg just feels like it's on fire."
Williams, who now uses a cane and has been unable to work as she recovers from the severe burns, plans to sue the store where she bought the e-cig and the manufacturer. Her horrifying experience happened just two days after a 14-year-old Leor Domatov was badly burned and partially blinded when a vape pen exploded in his face at a kiosk at the Kings Plaza mall.
Williams's lawyer, Marc Freund, also represents the partially blinded teen. "It's unconscionable that a product that is being marketed internationally as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes actually poses life threatening immediate health risks," Domatov says. "There are very little warnings if any associated these products the stores are certainly not warning customers about these products. These batteries if they touch water touch another battery they can explode."
The Daily News reports that Williams was using e-cigs to try and quit smoking, and she had recently bought the LG IMR 18650 battery at the VapeEasy shop on Canal Street. For more on the potential perils of e-cigs, here's our feature from 2013 on the still-emerging and unregulated e-cig industry.