As if people needed another reminder about the dangers of their electronic gadgets blowing up unexpectedly, an e-cigarette battery exploded in the jacket pocket of a French nightclub owner on Friday.
The incident was caught on tape by security cameras outside Amine Britel’s nightclub in Toulouse, France.
“All of a sudden I heard a loud bang and a noise like a flare had gone off, only ten times louder. And after the shock of the explosion, I realised that I had caught fire,” Britel said, according to Ubergizmo. “I did not really understand what was happening to me. The pain only came afterwards.”
Britel, who went to the hospital with severe burns and part of his jacket melted to his fingers, says he plans to sue the Chinese company that manufactures the battery.
This isn’t the first case an exploding vaping device. Wired put together a partial roundup earlier this year:
In November, a man in Colorado broke his neck, lost some teeth, and suffered burns and facial fractures when his e-cigarette exploded. A 15-year-old California boy lost half a dozen teeth in a similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is recovering from the severe burns caused when a vaping pen caught fire in his pocket a few weeks ago.
Statistics outlining just how prevalent this is remain thin, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of all things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in the US between 2009–2014.
Nor will this poor Frenchman’s mishap be the last. According to Matthew Eisler’s article in Slate in September, until we have “uniform safety protocols for a wide variety of problems relating to lithium ion batteries,” we can “expect many more unpleasant surprises from the existing technology.”