North Carolina man loses eye after e-cigarette explodes

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. – A North Carolina man lost his eye and suffered burns on his body after his e-cigarette exploded in his face.

WECT reported that Christopher Richards suffered injuries from the incident on Jan. 13 as he was driving with his wife.

“I remembered hearing a loud, almost like a bomb, and the car just started to fill up with smoke,” Richards told WECT. “I just started saying out loud, ‘oh my God, oh my God,’ and I grabbed a rag and put it on my face. As I was putting it on my face I realized below me there was just a pool of blood.”

Richards lost one of his eyes, suffered third-degree burns on his chest and had to get more than 50 stitches on his nose. He was airlifted to a hospital where he spent nine days getting three different surgeries, according to WECT.

“I have friends that are missing limbs and friends with cerebral palsy and they are not limited to anything,” he said. “So losing my eye is not going to limit me to anything.”

There were 25 incidents of e-cigarettes exploding in the U.S. between 2009 and 2014, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Eighty percent of the incidents happened while the e-cigarette was being charged.