Patrick V* Butson, VAPOR DIGEST (08/18/14) – Updated (08/20/14)
The explosion occurred at around 8:00 pm last Saturday Night. When I heard it, my first thought was “someone just got hurt”.
My VAPOR DIGEST booth at the VapeBlast 2.0 Expo in San Antonio, TX was only about 50 feet from the blast.
As I rushed over to see what happened, a large circle of people of had formed around a darkened spot on the floor where the explosion occurred. As shocked as I was to hear the explosion (it became quickly obvious to everyone that a mod had just exploded), I was equally surprised to see how calmly everyone reacted. No one panicked.
The first concern on everyone’s mind was not “Who Did It?” but “Is Everyone OK?”. It was only after it was established that there were no injuries, that we all realized how lucky we were that this incident was not a full blown tragedy.
There were shrapnel marks on several of the ceiling tiles overhead, one tile was completely taken out
Though the explosion occurred during a cloud competition, the mod that blew up was not owned by any of the competitors in the contest. It was owned by one of the observers and no one was able to definitively identify who it was.
I use to love watching the cloud competitions at vape gatherings, but things have been getting more and more out of hand lately. I hope that this incident can be utilized as a rallying point for Mod Safety so nothing like this ever happens again.
To the great credit of both the Vape Blast 2.0 Show Management and the cloud competition organizers, the competition was cancelled. Everyone in attendance understood that this was the correct course of action, and the rest of the evening was hushed and subdued as conversations focused on the importance of safety
With the help of bystanders, I was able to gather some of the pieces of the mod that blew up. (see photo below). A professional photographer, Alexz Sheppard of Tough Blood Imagery was also there and he sent me some of his pictures from the scene.
(added 08/20/14) A NOTE FROM THE SHOW ORGANIZER: Please note that as a precaution; we, the event organizers decided to cancel the second cloud comp that was scheduled for Sunday. In light of what happened on Saturday, we used the time to have a battery safety class. It was very well received and I believe better attention was paid due to the events of Saturday evening. The entire rest of the day’s give aways focused on encouraging people to ditch bad/unsafe batteries. Many exhibitors stepped up with valuable prizes for surrendering bad batteries.
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