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Man left with third degree burns and scared for life after e-cig battery explodes in pocket

Birmingham | News | Published:

A JLR worker was left with horrific burns after an e-cig battery exploded in his pocket and set his leg on fire.

Dan Walker has been scarred for life after the shocking incident left him with second and third degree burns on his left thigh.

Dan started using e-cigs regularly around two months ago, after he gave up smoking as a New Year's resolution.

But the 20-year-old was out shopping with a friend at Resorts World in Birmingham, on Saturday when the spare battery in pocket of his jogging bottoms exploded out of the blue - and Dan was horrified to see his leg engulfed in a sea of sparks and flames.

Dan, from Tamworth, has now vowed to 'never vape again' after the shocking incident.

He said: "We were half way into a shop when I heard a massive bang – the only way I can describe it is like a firework, like a whooshing sound.

"I looked down and there were sparks coming out of my trousers, and I could feel an intense heat on my leg.

"I whipped them straight off and shouted out for an ambulance.

"As soon as I got my trackies off, the extent of the damage hit me – I couldn't even walk properly.

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"I was absolutely gobsmacked, I was in really bad shock.

"At first I didn't know what was going on.

"I thought the e-cig itself had caught on fire, but when I checked my pockets I realised it was in my jacket and the batteries were in my joggers.

"The whole incident was absolutely terrifying – I dread to think what could have happened if the batteries had been near my face, or I'd been wearing jeans and couldn't get my trousers off quick enough.

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"I could have lost my leg.

"I always carry spare batteries around in case my e-cig dies – I don't want to go back to smoking again and use the e-cig whenever I feel I need a fag.

"That seems stupid now.

"After this I'll never vape again.

"It's been two months since I last smoked a cigarette, but I'd feel much safer having a fag than ever using an e-cig again."

Medics rushed Dan to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he was treated at a specialist burns unit.

Dan suffered second and third degree burns, and has had to go to hospital every day since the incident to have his wounds checked – and docs have warned he may need a painful skin graft.

He said: "I've not been my normal self since. It's been life-changing.

"I'm in unbelievable pain from the second I wake up – if I have pain killers then it's bearable, but the pain is constant throughout the day.

"I can't do normal day-to-day things – I can't walk properly, even going to the toilet is a struggle.

"It's been completely traumatic – not just for me but for my family too – and the pain is indescribable.

"Everyone has just been in total shock that this has happened.

"It's been a terrifying experience – you hear horror stories but never think it will happen to you, and when it does it really hits home."

The owner of the shop where Dan claims he bought the batteries has refused to comment.

The battery manufacturer has not commented.

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