Horrific video shows e-cigarette burst into flames in man’s pocket

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MANHATTAN (WPIX) -– Surveillance video from inside the Central Cellars wine shop in Grand Central station showed the moment an electronic cigarette exploded in an employee’s pocket Wednesday morning.

Byron Gonzalez witnessed the explosion.

“There were sparks everywhere and panic and mayhem,” he said. “He’s in the hospital right now with third degree burns.”

“I saw fireworks, I felt the heat,” Jonathan Lee said. “I think these e-cigarettes should be looked at a little bit more carefully.”

Shop owners said the hurt employee underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon and is expected to be out of work for at least a month.

Learn more about the devices:

Electronic cigarettes purchased by Cliff Phillips, a 61-year-old retiree and former smoker, and his wife, Vali, are seen at their home in Cuba, Ill., Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Electronic cigarettes like the one used by Phillips are at the middle of a social and legal debate over whether it’s OK to “light up” in places where regular smokes are banned. E-cigarettes, which are gaining popularity and scrutiny worldwide, are plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that the “smoker” inhales. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Sales clerk Sam Patel, of Waltham, Mass., displays Zippo Blu butane lighter, left, and a blu e-cigarette, right, at a shop, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Brookline, Mass. The maker of Zippo lighters and Lorillard, the nation’s third-biggest tobacco company, are battling over the Blu brand name being used on both Zippo lighters and an electronic cigarette brand. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Sales clerk Sam Patel, of Waltham, Mass., displays a blu e-cigarette, right, and a container of the e-cigarettes, left, at a shop, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Brookline, Mass. The maker of Zippo lighters and Lorillard, the nation’s third-biggest tobacco company, are battling over the Blu brand name being used on both Zippo lighters and an electronic cigarette brand. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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