Despite product recalls and repeated warnings from government officials over the past two years, some people are still using unsafe hoverboards.
Now a child from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has died as a result of an apparently faulty board.
The fire was reported around 8 p.m. on Friday, during which one resident jumped from the second floor of the building to escape the blaze, according to AP.
The next day, one of the children injured in the fire, 3-year-old Ashanti Hughes, was pronounced dead by the local coroner’s office, while two other girls remained in critical condition in a local hospital.
“They heard some sizzling and crackling in the hoverboard and shortly thereafter, it exploded in flames,” fire department chief Brian Enterline told the AP.
Last year, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) declared hoverboards not safety tested by UL to be unsafe. Part of the agency’s guidance cited instances of battery explosions on hoverboards not tested by manufacturers.
Because so many cheap hoverboards were sold before the UL announcement and before the subsequent move by some hoverboard makers to adhere to the safety regulations there are likely many more unsafe hoverboards still sitting in homes around the world, owned by users unaware of the recalls and safety warnings.
Up until now, the connection between a hoverboard fire and a confirmed death has been difficult to determine, but in this case fire officials are clearly laying the blame for the toddler’s death on a defective hoverboard.
In addition to the small child, a fire official, Lt. Dennis DeVoe, was also killed while making his way to the scene of the fire.
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