Vaping is generally considered to be a safer alternative to smoking—at least that’s what the vast majority of studies have shown—but that research probably didn’t take into account the dangers of rechargeable batteries. One unfortunate vape user in France now knows that risk all too well.
The man, Amine Britel, shown in a CCTV video captured outside of his nightclub, went from calm to panicked in seconds as his spare vape battery exploded inside his jacket pocket.
The battery’s sudden meltdown created a shower of sparks and some impressive flames, and startled both the club owner and several bystanders. To his credit, the club’s bouncer stepped in to help Britel separate himself from the device, but not before Britel sustained burns to his abdomen and hand.
According to an interview with Britel, he was carrying the spare vape battery in his pocket along with some loose change. He believes that the coins may have touched the contacts of the battery and caused it to short out. Typically, vape units use large 18650 batteries for power, and they are rated to hold thousands of mAh, which means lots of potential energy waiting to be released.
Britel also noted that he bought the battery at a local shop, and that it was from “a Chinese brand,” which has not been named. The market for cheap vape batteries is booming, and products coming from unregulated sellers are fairly common, which increases the potential for these incidents.
H/T Daily Mail