James Lauria was vaping with a mechanical mod when it exploded in his face, causing third degree burns and putting a dime-sized hole in the roof of his mouth. According to his father:
“He had burns to his hand and a fractured neck and finger, and burns to his cornea,” said Ed Lauria. “It blew a hole through his pallet and at the same time, flames went down and he got first-degree burns on his chest and up on his face. It forced his front tooth up into his gum- out of sight -and chipped the other one and damaged a few other lower teeth.”
The injuries were so serious that he had to be airlifted to the University of Alabama‘s burn unit, where he spent a week in the ICU. Six weeks after the injury occurred, he’s still unable to eat solid food and is currently on liquid diet. He’s going to be fitted for a prosthetic that will close up the hole in the roof of his mouth, but it still seems like he has a long way to go before he recovers.
Here’s a picture of his setup, after the accident:
It’s hard to tell from the picture exactly what was wrong with his setup, since nothing seems to jump out as an obvious no-no. I don’t see any type of hybrid connection or anything like that, but obviously since this picture was taken after the explosion and the quality isn’t perfect so it’s kind of hard to diagnose exactly what happened. Maybe he had a bad battery that started to vent and he ignored the warning signs, who knows. But if the other stories about mechanical mod explosions (1,2,3) haven’t caused you to ensure that you properly understand battery safety, then maybe the severity of this one will. Mech mods can be perfectly safe, but you have to make sure that you know what you’re doing. Some of my favorite vapes ever are mechanical mods, so if you’re knowledgeable you have nothing to worry about. (Of course, if you’re the type of person who reads vaping blogs you probably already know about battery safety, it’s the uneducated people who just want to blow “sikk clouds” and who think that “reading is for pussies” that we have to worry about.)