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E-Cigarette Reportedly Explodes In Pub, Sets Bartender's Dress On Fire

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Over the weekend, an electronic cigarette reportedly exploded in a crowded British pub, scorching the dress of the bartender.

According to the York Press, 18-year-old Laura Baty had been serving a customer at the Buck Inn Hotel in Richmond, North Yorkshire, when the e-cigarette -- which belonged to her co-worker and had been charging behind the bar -- suddenly exploded, and shot into the air.

"I could see the fire coming at me and I felt the heat as I ran away," Baty told the news outlet. "I started crying hysterically and my arm was all black. My dress caught on fire as I ran away and I just didn't know what was happening."

(Watch the apparent blast in the video above.)

A spokesperson for the manufacturer of the e-cigarette's battery told the York Press that a "dedicated electronic cigarette charger" had apparently not been used in this case and that "charging lithium batteries incorrectly and failing to take necessary care of these devices can lead to catastrophic failure."

In 2012, The Associated Press reported that an e-cigarette with a faulty battery exploded in the mouth of a Florida man, blowing out some of his teeth and a chunk of his tongue.

Last year, NBC Chicago wrote that a number of consumer reports had surfaced regarding e-cigarettes exploding out of their chargers, causing injury and fire.

"I’m aware of 10 failures in the last year,” industry spokesman Thomas Kiklas, who represents the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, told NBC at the time. “When you charge them, they are 99.9 percent safe, but occasionally there will be failures.”

According to an earlier KOKH Fox 25 News report, e-cigarette users should always charge the device as directed by manufacturers. Crucially, safety educators say that using the right charger and outlet is very important. E-cigarettes should also not be left unattended when charging, they say.

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