E-cigarette explodes and leaves Stoke-on-Trent lorry driver in hospital with severe burns

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An exploding e-cigarette left a man in hospital with severe burns after it took the skin off his hand

A lorry driver suffered horror injuries when an e-cigarette exploded in his hand.

Mike Calver, 38, was changing the battery on his device at home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, when it blew up. His hand, beard and clothes were set on fire - while the scalding e-cigarette stuck to his hand.

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Video shows Mike running to an outside in a bid to douse the flames. Wife Leanne Calver, 29, came to his aid and rushed him to A&E, where plastic surgeons worked on him. Mike is now in recovery, but still has scars from the October 29 ordeal. And he wants people to be aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes.

He said: "I bought a new set of batteries on Amazon, and I had loaded them into the e-cig. As I clicked the battery it exploded. I was engulfed in flames - my hand, beard, and clothes were on fire.

"I managed to douse the flames pretty quickly. One of the batteries that exploded stuck to my hands and started to melt into my hand."

Leanne, a senior administrator, said: "I was terrified. In the moment I had no idea if Mike's hand or fingers had been blown off. And at the same time there was a fireball in the kitchen. The house was filling rapidly with black smoke and I needed to get Mike to the hospital as soon as possible. But I was so concerned about getting back to the house and the dogs, who were terrified as well."

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Mike had bought the e-cigarette and batteries on Amazon in September. He then tried to set it up last month. After the battery exploded, Leanne ran into the kitchen to see if Mike was okay.

And he said: "The house quickly filled with smoke - it was not a nice experience. Leanne was in the front room and heard the bang so she jumped up and came into the kitchen. I had thrown the e-cig across the room while it was still on fire and it had set fire to the floor. Leanne managed to put out the fire and started to freak out when she started to see how black my hand was."

Mike was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where he waited for hours with his hand in a cold bucket of water.

He said: "The pain was ok when I had my hand in the water. But I had to keep refilling the bucket as my hand would heat the water up. In between refilling, I would be in excruciating pain."

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Mike was then seen by the plastic surgery team at the hospital who performed a procedure to remove the burnt skin. He said the procedure which lasted just over an hour - and was "horrendous".

Mike said: "They gave me a lot of morphine but the process itself was horrendous. They had to burst all the blisters and cut all the skin away from my hand. I was in A&E for six hours and left at 3am the following morning. They bandaged my hand up and sent me on my way. Living with what I am living with at the moment is not great."

Mike is now on statutory sick pay while he waits for his hand to heal, which could take between four to six weeks. He wants other people to know how quickly something like this can happen.

Mike said: "The next morning was when it all sank in, it was a harrowing experience. I was very lucky that it wasn't on my face and it was just me and my wife in the house. I am doing ok now, I have had three plastic surgery consultations and they have taken most of the bandages off. My palm is exposed at the minute and will heal itself - thankfully I don't need a skin graft."

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