The London Fire Brigade has released a video that shows how dangerous it can be when a faulty e-bike catches fire and explodes. The owner of the bike narrowly avoided injury in the scary incident, which turned the bike into a fireball. It was the second such incident in as many weeks and highlights the dangers posed by a faulty charging mechanism to the battery. The explosion took place at a flat in Roehampton on May 20 and was captured on CCTV.
The clip from the entrance to Avi Gooransingh’s home in Tangley Grove shows the bike’s battery erupt after going into thermal runaway – the rapid self-heating of a battery due to increase in temperature.
It produces a white and grey coloured highly flammable and toxic vapour cloud into the air before turning into a fireball a few seconds later.
The bike owner is seen standing close to the bike but remains unhurt. He is able to run back into the house as seen in the clip.
The firefighters quickly arrived on the scene and were able to put out the fire.
Though the exact cause of the fire is not known, Mr Gooransingh said he knew something was not right because of the smell.
“I arrived home and there was such a potent smell. I asked my sister if she was using nail polish remover but she replied no and said it was coming from my bike,” he told London Fire Brigade.
“I smelt the bike and I immediately thought something might be wrong so I thought the safest thing to do would be to get the bike out of the flat,” he further said, as per the remarks published on the department’s website.
Mr Gooransingh said he panicked when the bike exploded. “I thought my family was going to die, especially if I hadn’t moved it. My sister and I ran back into the flat and called 999.”
The fire brigade said it has been called to 52 e-bike and 12 e-scooter fires so far this year. One of the incidents proved to be fatal on New Year’s Day.