OKLAHOMA – There is a warning to those who vape out there.
A young man was taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning after his e-cigarette exploded.
“Eight stitches,” Zach Quickel said.
For the first time since his hospital visit, Zach took off his bandage to show NewsChannel 4 the stitches on his forehead.
They are mending an injury he said was caused by a now charred e-cig.
“I was loading more juice into it and, all of a sudden – I can’t remember if I had it facing me or the bottom facing me, but there was a loud flash and bang, and a piece of scrap metal hit me in the head,” Zach said. “It kind of knocked me out of my chair, too. It was loud. My ears were ringing real bad, and I was just dazed for a second.”
The explosion was so loud it woke up his parents.
“I heard what I thought was a gunshot in the living room,” said Tim Quickel, Zach’s father.
Visibly shaken, the 22-year-old rushed to tell them what happened.
“The right side of his face, his glasses – blood just pouring down,” Tim said.
After their trip to the ER, the Quickel’s came back to find part of the e-cig on the carpet.
“And, it is melted so, thankfully, the carpet didn’t flame up and catch the house on fire,” Tim said.
Thankful for that but, most of all, that Zach is okay.
“I’ve seen people with their hands blown off from these things, so I got pretty lucky,” Zach said.
It is unclear exactly what caused the device to erupt, but the family said they just want others to know it can happen.
From what we saw, the e-cig was made up of parts from different manufacturers.
NewsChannel 4 did speak to a couple of vape shops that said it is typically the lithium-ion battery that explodes.
They can explode for a number of reasons, including improper ventilation and damage.
Experts say cheap, generic batteries and chargers can also cause an e-cig to blow up.