Woman suffers severe burns when e-cigarette explodes in pocket

QUEENS (WABC) -- A woman in Queens was badly burned when an e-cigarette exploded in her pocket.

She said the explosion was so powerful that the cigarette went flying and got stuck in the dashboard of her car!

We want to warn you, some of the images in this story may be disturbing.

"I'm in severe pain," said Katrina Williams, burn victim.

Scarred and traumatized for life, 26-year-old Williams is still in disbelief, after an e-cigarette battery exploded inside her pocket while driving in Queens, and left her leg covered in third degree burns.

"It was like a firecracker that actually went off I was like in shock," Williams said. "I didn't know where it was coming from until I seen the actual explosion come out of my pocket."

Now relying on a cane and unable to work as she prepares for a long road to recovery including surgery and skin grafts, Williams and her attorney are suing both the store she bought the e-cigarette from and the manufacturer.

"There are very little warnings if any associated these products the stores are certainly not warning customers about these products. These batteries if they touch water touch another battery they can explode," said Marc Freund, the victim's attorney.

It's a disturbing pattern Freund is all too familiar with. His firm is also representing 14-year-old Leor Domatov, who was blinded in one eye and burned by another exploding e-cigarette battery at Kings Plaza mall earlier this month.

"The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes or vaporizers so there's very little oversight. There are a lot of pending cases we've been in contact with other firms across the country that are handling these cases," Freund said.

Freund emphasizes this isn't about a payout, it's about holding manufacturers and distributors accountable, so no one else has to suffer like Katrina and Leor.

"People should be aware of the dangers associated with it. There's got to be some oversight and regulation," Freund said.

"It's horrible it's just very dangerous," Williams said. "I just hope that it doesn't happen to anybody else at this time, I just want to feel better."
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