A man is being treated for severe burns after something exploded in his pocket as he waited for his flight home Sunday night at McCarran International Airport.
Scott Hildreth, of Naples, Florida, was in a Hudson News convenience store near the airport’s D gates when something in his left pants pocket exploded.
Police stationed at the airport were called at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday. An officer walked to the scene about 13 minutes later. Hildreth is being treated in University Medical Center’s burn unit.
Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said a charred lithium-ion battery similar to those found in electronic cigarettes was recovered at the scene.
Hildreth had his electronic cigarette with him, but the device and both batteries inside were not damaged. He could not say for certain whether he had an extra battery in his pocket.
Larry Haydu, assistant fire chief for Clark County Fire Department, said the incident is still under investigation, but confirmed that a battery was found at the scene, and that it is not uncommon for batteries to ignite under certain conditions.
Electronic cigarettes and batteries are allowed at the airport under certain guidelines. Spare batteries are not allowed to be loose where they can come into contact with metal or be exposed to heat, which can cause them to ignite.
The Review-Journal’s Rochelle Richards contributed to this report. Contact Blake Apgar at email@example.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.