Florida man killed by 'projectile' fragments of exploding vape pen

An exploding vape pen hurled fragments into a man's head, killing him and starting a fire that burned most of his body, a post mortem report in the US has found.

The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's post mortem report released on Tuesday confirms the vape pen was responsible for the May 5 death of Tallmadge D'Elia, 38, in St Petersburg, Florida.

Such accidents are not unheard of: according to a US Fire Administration report, at least 195 electronic cigarettes exploded or caught fire from 2009 to 2016, and while no deaths were recorded in that time, the explosions caused 133 injuries, 38 of them severe.

Firefighters found Mr D'Elia inside his burning home, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Officials found "extensive" fire damage in Mr D'Elia's bedroom, where his body was found, but minimal smoke, the report said.

The explosion sent two pieces of the vape pen into Mr D'Elia's cranium, the post mortem found.

The report listed the cause of death as "projectile wound of the head".

He also suffered burns on about 80% of his body.

The death was ruled an accident.

- PA

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