CRIME
11/23/2015 11:57 am ET

Man Critically Injured After E-Cigarette Explodes In His Face

Cordero Caples' sister says the 29-year-old may not be able to walk again.

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Cordero Caples, 29, was hospitalized in critical condition Friday after an electronic cigarette exploded in his face, his sister said.

A Tennessee man may not be able to walk again after an electronic cigarette exploded in his face on Friday.

Cordero Caples, 29, was hospitalized in critical condition after suffering fractured vertebrae, facial fractures and at least one missing tooth following the sudden explosion in Colorado, his sister said.

"It's going to be a long, intensive recovery process," Colossi Porter told Fox13 News.

Caples was smoking the e-cigarette while on a break from work when it blew up, WMC reported.

GoFundMe
This is the e-cigarette that Caples was using when he was injured on Friday, his sister said.

Porter shared jarring photos of Caples on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for his medical expenses. The images show his face visibly battered with his neck supported by a brace while recovering in a Colorado Springs hospital room.

It's unclear what caused the device to explode.

A Memphis smoke shop employee who was shown a photo of Caples' e-cigarette said she immediately noticed something wrong with it: the battery.

"This is way too powerful to power this," Mary Grace Burns of VaporWize told Fox13.

It's unclear what caused the device to explode.

A Memphis smoke shop employee who was shown a photo of Caples' e-cigarette said she immediately noticed something wrong with it: the battery.

"This is way too powerful to power this," Mary Grace Burns of VaporWize told Fox13.

"Way too hot of a battery. You can have a way-too-high amped battery in there or something like that could easily misfire and cause something like that. It's operator error though," she said.

Caples is studying to be a personal trainer and has a 1-year-old daughter, according to WMC. 

"He’s really, really into fitness, and he’s really good at it. That’s what he was in school to do, but with an injury like this, it puts those things in question. I’m just hopeful he can make a speedy recovery and a full recovery," his sister told Fox13.

Caples began undergoing surgery on Sunday, according to WMC. His condition was upgraded to fair following the surgery, though Porter told the station that he's not in the clear yet.

"Any sudden move can cause him to be in a paralyzed state, and that is something we done want," she said. "He's going to need 24-hour care for a while and constant monitoring from family and friends and loved ones. You know it is heart breaking, but we're going to bond together.”

E-cigarette explosions are not uncommon, and have caused similar injuries in the past. Last year, video showed a British bartender's dress catching fire when her e-cigarette allegedly exploded. In 2012, a Florida man had a chunk of his tongue and some of his front teeth blasted away when one of the devices exploded in his mouth. A faulty battery was blamed for the explosion.

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