Fresno, Calif. (KSEE) – Some dangerous moments inside a Fresno city bus are caught on camera. Investigators say the explosion was caused by a battery powered e-cigarette. First responders say the man in his 50s escaped with minor burns to his hand and thigh. The e-cigarette explosion was caught on camera adding to the national evidence of the damage this smoking device can do.
Wednesday afternoon a Fresno city bus driver noticed one of his passengers broke the rules by using an e-cigarette on the bus. The diver told the passenger he “can’t vape on the bus”. Just moments after the man put the device away in his pocket chaos erupted as the e-cigarette smoking device exploded sending him to the hospital.
First responders took pictures of the charred e-cigarette battery. Industry expers say it’s most likely the source of the blast.
“These batteries they are fragile. They have a wrap on the outside that needs to stay intact. If that battery gets torn and starts to touch metal, or loose change in your pocket or something like that it can definitely short out the battery, said Adam Wooddy the owner of Satyr Vapor.
Wooddy runs Satyr Vapor in Fresno. He’s familiar with e-cigarette explosion cases across the country including this one a few weeks ago, also in a man’s pocket, inside a New York liquor store.
“It’s terrifying to see people hurting themselves and blowing up. There’s a lot of videos out there,” said Wooddy.
Wooddy says this e-cigarette blast in Fresno is another example of the real danger e-cigarettes can pose if not carried properly.
“I’ve always told people make sure you are researching. Make sure you know what you are doing if you are getting into this because it can get dangerous,” said Wooddy.
Experts say best practice is to remove e-cigarette batteries between uses, placing them in a protective case.
For those heading back out on Fresno city buses this shocking video if fresh in their minds.
“I had no idea those things would explode. I thought it would be just like any other battery. I guess if they are that dangerous we should be careful,” said Virginia Alvarez, who rides the bus.
According to the Associated Press there were roughly 60 people injured by exploding e-cigarettes in 2015, but that number may be under reported because many hospitals have just started keeping record of these cases.
Lawmakers are hope to soon to impose regulations on e-cigarettes that will make them safer.