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Robbie Robson, from Aylesham, left with burns after e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pocket

By Emily Stott

An ex-smoker faces a skin graft in a burns unit after his e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pocket and set his trousers on fire.

Robbie Robson suffered second and third degree burns to his legs when the Chinese-made hardware "went off like a firework".

The 24-year-old from Aylesham has told how he was shopping in a convenience store when the batteries blew up.

Robbie Robson's injuries

Robbie Robson's injuries

He said: "They went off like a firework and then my trousers caught alight. I just tried to put the fire out as quickly as possible and managed to get the batteries out of my trousers.

"I have second degree and third degree burns and will find out soon whether I need a skin graft."

Mr Robson, of Cornwallis Road, says he kicked a 30-a-day cigarette habit seven months ago.

Robbie Robson with Kerry Vinson

Robbie Robson with Kerry Vinson

Since then he has been using e-cigarettes as a substitute.

He says he always carries batteries on him to charge the device if it runs out of power.

On Saturday, February 20, Mr Robson was shopping in the Mini Market in Aylesham when disaster struck.

The explosion has left him unable to walk until the burns begin to heal.

Robbie's legs were left black and burnt in the accident

Robbie's legs were left black and burnt in the accident

Since then, partner Kerry Vinson has ferried him to and from Kent and Canterbury Hospital for treatment.

He has also been treated at a specialist burns unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, Sussex.

In Bury, Greater Manchester, a 47-year-old dad suffered horrific burns to his legs when e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pocket as he roller-skated with his children.

Robbie Robson suffered third degree burns after re-chargeable batteries caught fire in his pocket

Robbie Robson suffered third degree burns after re-chargeable batteries caught fire in his pocket

Mick Bennett was hospitalised for 10 days after the battery "went off like a rocket".

Another victim, mum Jana Barker, was left with burns to her legs after a similar battery exploded in her handbag while she was in the car on the M60 near Manchester with her daughter and husband.

And just weeks earlier, another young woman ended up needing plastic surgery after her battery combusted in her flat.

Mr Robson says his injuries have not put him off using e-cigarettes.

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