Local man seriously injured, loses 7 teeth after e-cig explodes in his face


6  Updated at 8:00 pm, January 18th, 2017 By: Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic photos.

POCATELLO – A Pocatello man is recovering after he claims an e-cigarette exploded in his face, causing significant injuries and damage in the room where he was vaping.

Andrew Hall posted graphic photos and wrote about his experience on his Facebook page Sunday. As of Wednesday morning, the post had been shared nearly 450,000 times.

Andrew Hall, Facebook

“I’m currently in the ICU and doing well,” he wrote. “I vape…I’ve been doing this for about a year now and assure you I did not do anything I wasn’t supposed to … but it exploded in my face.”

“I’ve lost at least 7 teeth, 2nd degree burns to face and neck and have been pulling chunks of plastic, teeth and foreign objects from mouth, throat and lips,” Hall continued. “I was lucky and they’re (sic) was a huge amount of damage to the room in my house I was in.”

Andrew Hall, Facebook

Hall’s photos appear to show him sitting in a hospital room with a bloody mouth, missing teeth and a burn on his left cheek.

The next day, on Jan. 16, Hall posted photos of his e-cigarette and a bathroom showing major damage to the sink and burn marks on a wall.

Andrew Hall, Facebook

Andrew Hall, Facebook

Hall’s story has been picked up by media organizations around the world, including the New York Post, The Sun and Fox News. His post has gotten more than 200,000 comments. Many express sympathy to Hall while others claim he made the story up.

“Tell me for those that still think it’s fake I would love to get your professional take now,” Hall wrote. “These pics are from my bathroom where it exploded. The torch marks are on the wall and roof are continuations from my face. Also the explosion downward broke my sink.”

EastIdahoNews.com has contacted Hall for an interview but our requests have not been answered.

Since e-cigs were first introduced in 2007, there have been several reports of them exploding. The products were unregulated until recently so there are few statistics on the exact number of explosions. A FEMA report found 25 incidents of e-cig explosions from 2009-2014, a relatively small number compared to the estimated 2.5 million people who use e-cigarettes.

Photo: Andrew Hall Facebook page

One of the photos Hall posted is of the vape pen’s exploded battery.

“The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails,” according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Hall spent one night in the Intensive Care Unit at Portneuf Medical Center and was discharged on Monday, PMC Spokesman Todd Blackinton tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Hall wrote that he will no longer vape and thanked his friends for their support and prayers.

“A lot of you have shared with me similar accidents and I hope you and your loved ones recover soon,” he posted. “Hopefully today I get to find out how soon I can get back to work and get some teeth back in my mouth as well.”

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  • Jon Ziegler

    Back to the Camels for him.

  • SJBE

    Please investigate this story further and come back with what really happened.

    • Jim B

      Looks like he was using a copper mech mod by the photos, though what kind is hard to tell. I wonder if it was a hybrid, what the ohm of the coil was, and what battery was being used. Sadly we dont get facts like this in “exploding” stories. Mech mods are not new user friendly and can explode even in the hands of experienced vapers. The reason is that they have no protection and rely on the user to know whats safe. Put a atomizer with a short positive pin on a hybrid and you have a bomb waiting to go off. Put a .5 ohm build on a copper mech and use crappy china batteries and you have a bomb ready to go off.

  • Larry Bell

    From another article I read it says: He never replaced batteries himself. The vape store installed them.

  • Tom

    Why don’t reporters call a vape shop and ask questions about accidents like this? Fear mongering FAKE news!

    Battery manufactures have a maximum continuous amperage drain rate and a maximum “pulse” discharge rate, exceeding ether of these bad things are going to happen. Putting a battery into a metal tube and really bad things happen!

    Do not vape and/or use an unregulated device if you don’t fully comprehend all safety precautions.

    Battery explosions happen when you drain them too fast! A few of the most common reasons are a short circuit, and a manufacture defect. If the device this rocket scientist was using, was dropped, knocked over, or the coil resistance was too low it can cause this to happen. The unregulated “mod” or device this guy was using had no internal protections from excessive amperage discharge.

  • T.j. Lee

    Like the other comments that looks like an unregulated mechanical mod; meaning no protections, no software or circuitry and it’s just a battery tied to a button that when pressed fires the pin for the atomizer or tank. Most people who use these make their own coils and those coils have to be tested and ohm’d out to make sure they are right. If you don’t know what you are doing you will blow your device up and possibly be injured and even the most experienced people can make a mistake or forget to test their wraps and this can happen. Most people use regulated mods that have software and fail safes that won’t allow the battery/tank to fire if not within it’s limits and those are the safest way to vape. I would like to know more about this story and what the product was and how it was being used, the guy states he wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t supposed to be doing but I’m wondering if he wasn’t doing something he was supposed to be doing.