TV Producer Dies After E-Cigarette Explodes, Penetrates Skull

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Tallmadge D’Elia, a former CNBC producer who lived in Florida, died on May 5 after his e-cigarette exploded and got lodged in his skull, according to a new report in The Tampa Bay Times.

Based on a just-completed autopsy, it appears as if a piece of this cigaratte's remains actually penetrated D’Elia brain.

Tallmadge D'Elia

D'Elia (who went by Wake) passed away from the wounds he suffered in this freak accident, which took place in St. Petersburg, after his vape pen ignited a fire in the upstairs bedroom of his family's house.

The story has since gone viral purely due to the unusual nature of this death.

Autopsy results from the medical examiner of Pinellas County reveal that D'Elia's e-cigarette made a "projectile wound" in his skull, while also starting the blaze.

The medical examiner has listed D’Elia cause of death as "projectile wound of head" and says it was an accident.

D’Elia also suffered "thermal injuries," or burns, on roughly 80 percent of his body, the report states.

The 38-year-old's vape pen was reportedly a device made in the Philippines that is unregulated.


Specificially, the medical examiner says the item was a Smok-E Mountain Mech Works, which in an online description says "does not come with safety features."

No kidding, huh?

As of this writing, it's unclear what caused the pen to explode. But some are speculating that it had to have been related to the battery.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this is the first death caused by a vape pen in the United States.

From 2009 through 2016, there were 195 recorded incidents in which an electronic cigarette exploded or caught fire, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were listed by this agency as severe.


To avoid this sort of fate, recommendation for e-smokers include:

Never carry e-cig batteries loose in your pocket, especially where they might come into contact with coins, keys or other metal objects which can cause the battery to short out.

Never use you phone or tablet charger. Use the charger that originally came with the device.

Don’t charge your vape device while sleeping or leave it unattended.

Charge it on a flat surface away from anything that can catch fire. Don’t charge it on your couch or bed.

Always replace the batteries if they get damaged or wet.

Always use batteries recommended for your device and don’t mix and match different brands or mix old and new batteries.

Never alter your device or disable the safety features like fire button locks or vent holes.

Protect your vape from extreme temperatures by not leaving it in direct sunlight or in a freezing car overnight.

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