The boyfriend of a 34-year-old Virginia woman who had to be airlifted to a hospital on Saturday after her vaping device blew up said it “was like a big smoke bomb went off.”
“It shattered and fire everywhere,” Dennis Whitaker, who was sitting next to Heather Boyd in her car at the time, told Fox 5 DC.
Whitaker said Boyd had just purchased new batteries for the device, but isn’t sure if that’s what caused the explosion.
“She’s screaming, ‘I’m burning, I’m burning,’ and I didn’t understand how bad it was until I saw her hands, but her entire index finger right here was cracked open and it was pretty bad,” he told the news outlet.
Fairfax Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, and said that her injuries were not life-threatening. The explosion left deep burns in the driver’s seat, but Whitaker did not reveal the brand of the vape that his girlfriend had been using before the explosion.
Last week, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb said youth vaping is an epidemic in the U.S., and that the agency may ban flavored electronic cigarettes if manufacturers don’t come up with plans to address it.
Gottlieb told USA Today that the FDA is weighing the benefits of e-cigarettes in helping adults to quit smoking against the risk of kids becoming addicted to tobacco through vaping.