A Texas man died after a vaping device he was smoking exploded in the parking lot of a vape supply store, severing his carotid artery, KTVT reports.
William Eric Brown, 24, died on Jan. 29 from a stroke due to “penetrating trauma from exploding vaporizer pen,” according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
Alice Brown, the victim’s grandmother and guardian, said her grandson left their home on Jan. 27 to visit Smoke and Vape DZ, a local vaping supply store.
A shop representative told KTVT that Brown entered and asked for help using a “Mechanical Mod” style vape pen, a brand the store said it refuses to sell as it is known to have technical issues. After Brown went back to his vehicle, the shop manager said he noticed the young man was in distress and called for an ambulance.
Brown was then rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where his family claims doctors knew he had a large piece of metal lodged in his throat but chose not to operate on him immediately.
“That three-piece thing went into his throat and stayed there, and that’s what (physicians) should have taken out as soon as they got to the hospital, and they decided to wait until Monday or Tuesday,” Alice Brown said.
Brown died from his injuries at the hospital two days later.
“He should have had a long life ahead of him,” his grandmother added. “He should have made it if they had done the surgery.”
In a statement, the hospital said it could not discuss case specifics due to privacy laws, but added it “will take family concerns seriously as we review all that transpired.”
Brown is the second person in the U.S. known to have died due to an exploding e-cigarette. The first was a Florida man who perished in a house fire started by one of the devices in May 2018, NBC News reports.