Don't Be Mistaken, It Wasn't An E-Cigarette That Killed This Man
News reports have travelled abroad that an e-cigarette killed a man. It has been proven false. We found out that this guy signed his death warrant using a "ballpen gun" instead. Read more to know the cause.
A news article by the Borneo Post posted on 6 October made rounds on the Internet when it claimed that an electronic cigarette exploded and killed a smoker
In the article, the report stated that the victim died due to the battery of the e-cigarette exploding, causing him to collapse due to the sheer force of it
The victim, who was only identified only as ‘Lau’ (at press-time), was walking with a friend to a coffee shop when the freak incident happened. They were heading for a coffee break as Lau was waiting for customers for his chartered van. It is believed that the battery of the e-cigarette exploded, taking into account that it popped out from the device during the explosion. The force of the explosion struck Lau in the chest, causing him to collapse.theborneopost.com
"At about 8.30am, this driver of hired van was found to have collapsed suddenly in front of the marketplace. Eye witnesses saw him parking his van and walked around the place apparently waiting to pick up passengers when he suddenly collapsed and fell to the ground. "At the time before he collapsed, the witnesses heard a small exploding sound, like a firecracker going off. "A friend of the driver rushed to his aid and found him struggling to breath. Shortly after he died.thestar.com.my
Many online netizens were skeptical of the report, and questioned the authenticity and the make of the alleged e-cigarette
The news turned out to be false. The apparatus found in his hand is a "ballpen gun", not an e-cigarette as reported.
Police in Bintulu, northern Sarawak, have uncovered the possible existence of a James-Bond styled miniature pistol called a "ballpen-gun" following the mysterious death of a middle- aged man who collapsed and died in the town centre.thestar.com.my
Initial reports stated that the weapon looked like an electronic cigarette and the false story spread that he was smoking an electronic cigarette which exploded and killed him. "When police were called to the scene, we found that the item was not an electronic cigarette but a miniature firearm in the shape of a ball-pen or a "ballpen-gun,” said Supt Razak.thestar.com.my
Further checks revealed that the man was in possession of tiny bullets and could have accidentally triggered the pen, thus killing himself
"We also found in his pocket a small plastic box that contained tiny bullets. The van driver sustained burnt-wounds on his chest that may have resulted from the accidental triggering of the ballpen-gun. "He could have been holding the device and accidentally pressed the trigger. We are not sure yet and we are investigating this case thoroughly.thestar.com.my
"We must wait for the pathologist to carry out a post-mortem to determine the cause of death and also the ballistic and chemistry expert to determine the nature of the weapon and the bullet," he said. Asked whether it was possible he was shot by someone else, Supt Razak said that at the moment, there was no evidence of such foul play.thestar.com.my
A simple Google search revealed that the pen was a flare pen, used for camping, backpacking or hiking as a distress signal or to scare someone if in danger
A flare pen improves your chances of rescue and survival when in danger. These pen-sized distress signals weigh only 1.4 oz and can be worn in your pocket. Flares fire 150 feet high and can be seen from 9 miles away (18 miles at night). At 15,000 candela, the flares are as bright as 215 60W light bulbs. They are designed to extinguish after 6 seconds, before they descend to the tree tops, to prevent forest-fires. The 115 decibel rapport of the Bear-Banger flares can be used for audible signaling. They project 130 feet to provide wide-area coverage.truflareusa.com
Jonathan said based on the photo published in yesterday’s newspapers, he was certain the device was a modified flare pen. Based on his advice, The Borneo Post browsed the Internet and found a device similar to the published image.Jonathan said flare pens were usually used for camping, hiking, boating, or backpacking. They are used to signal for help, alert nearby friendly forces, or to scare someone or something.theborneopost.com
E-cigarettes on the other hand are battery powered and comes equipped with different parts. It simulates tobacco smoking and is slowly gaining popularity amongst smokers who see it as an alternative.
An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings, while others release a flavored vapor without nicotinewikipedia.org
The flare pen itself is easily available in camping stores nationwide. In this case, the pen might have been modified as a weapon.
There are different models, ranging from minor ones to those that are destructive. Owning one is easy as it can be bought in camping shops. In this case, either the victim did not realise that or he just ignored the danger of modified devices. It is very sad a life was sacrificed because of plain ignorance.theborneopost.com
In 2010, two men in the UK were arrested for making and modifying "James Bond-ish" pen and key ring guns
Two men who made ‘James Bond-style’ lethal weapons in a ‘homemade gun factory’ have been jailed. Paul Coke and Fatmir Kadena produced firearms including a ‘pen gun’ and ‘key-ring gun’.dailymail.co.uk
The ‘pen gun’ was discovered inside a cardigan pocket, and the ‘key-ring gun’ was hidden on a ceiling beam. Police said the ‘James Bond-style’ weapons were ‘lethal-barrelled’ and capable of firing ammunition.dailymail.co.uk