North Carolina Dad Hospitalized After E-Cigarette Batteries Explode in His Pants Pocket

Kevin King spoke from his hospital bed about the horrific moments a pair of e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pants pocket

Photo: NBC

A North Carolina father is recovering after a pair of e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pants pocket, leaving him with severe burns and injuries to his face.

Kevin King spoke with Today‘s Jeff Rossen about the moment the lithium-ion batteries came in contact with some loose change in his pants pocket and caused the explosion as he recently traveled home.

“It just exploded,” King told Rossen. “One minute you’re pulling up in your driveway and the next minute your pants are like crazy on fire.”

King said he jumped out of the car, then the second battery exploded.

“It just, like, burst into flames,” he said. “It just burned right through my pants. The other one explodes, shrapnel in my face and everything, hits me right in the eye.

King suffered burns to his legs so severe that he needed a skin graft, according to Today. And doctors said that had the shrapnel landed an inch closer to King’s eye, he could have lost his vision.

“This is the worst pain I’ve ever been in in my life,” he said.

A report from the U.S. Fire Administration states that most e-cigarette and battery explosions occur in the person’s pocket. Although most of these explosions are “self- or easily-extinguished,” victims can suffer severe burns on their hands, faces and legs, according to the report.

“It’s literally an explosion, a super-hot explosion,” Dr. Anne Wagner, of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) Burn Center, told NBC News. “We’re seeing deep, third-degree burns and almost all of them require skin grafts and these grafts leave a significant scar.”

The report found that there were 195 separate reports of e-cigarette fire and explosions in the U.S. from 2009 to 2016. Of that number, 61 explosions occurred in people’s pockets.

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