A Colorado Springs man is hospitalized after his family says an electronic cigarette blew up in his face.
Cordero Caples suffered a broken neck, facial fractures, burns to his mouth and shattered teeth in the explosion, according to a post on a GoFundMe account his sister, Colessia Porter, setup to raise money for his medical bills. She says Caples, 29, was using an electronic cigarette made by Kangertech when it exploded Friday.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department told Memphis NBC affiliate WMC-TV that emergency crews responded to the medical call at Caples’ job, but that the incident is still under investigation. Kangertech did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.
Caples, according to his sister, underwent spinal surgery on Sunday, a situation she described to the station as “heartbreaking” because “any sudden move can cause him to be in a paralyzed state, and that is something we don’t want.”
Safety officials say that fires and explosions caused by e-cigarettes are rare, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency aware of some 25 incidents between 1999 and 2014 where nine people were injured, according to CBS News. “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,” FEMA warned in a 2014 report.
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