Pants explosion causes commotion at McCarran Airport - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Pants explosion causes commotion at McCarran Airport

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An explosion happened in a man's pocket at McCarran International Airport. An explosion happened in a man's pocket at McCarran International Airport.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A man was hospitalized with 2nd and 3rd degree burns after police said a lithium battery in a man's pants pocket exploded and caught fire at McCarran International Airport.

Scott Hildreth traveled to Las Vegas for Authorpalooza in Mesquite. He said he and his wife Jessica were on their way home to Florida Sunday night when the explosion happened.

"I keep thinking about it over and over and over about that, looking down and trying to piece together just what happened," Scott Hildreth said. 

Jessica Hildreth said they had made it past the security checkpoint, and were at the Hudson News Convenience ship in Terminal D when the explosion occurred.

"I felt the heat and I heard the sound of something exploding, so I ran," Jessica said. "I saw him on the ground and his pants were on fire."

Mr. Hildreth said he dropped to the ground and managed to put the fire out. He was taken to the hospital and treated for burn injuries. 

"(Transportation Security Administration) did not show up, the police did not show up. "The only people that did show up were the paramedics," he said. 

Police did show up to the University Medical Center Tuesday afternoon to follow up with the investigation. 

They said they told the Hildreth family they believe the explosion came from a lithium battery Mr. Hildreth was carrying around for his vape. 

The couple said they believe someone should have caught the potential danger these batteries could cause, before it happened. 

"After security, to have something like this happen, is, I can't make it make sense. I can't comprehend that this type of thing would happen," he said. 

"The airport, the government, security administration; I feel like it's their job to protect this from happening," Jessica Hildreth added. 

The Hildreth family took to Facebook the voice their frustrations over the incident. 

The TSA website makes it clear that lithium batteries are allowed inside the airport past security,

McCarran Airport officials released a statement about the investigation. 

"This incident is under investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in cooperation with the Transportation Security Administration, Clark County Fire Department, and the Clark County Department of Aviation

Remarks attributed to the traveler and his family on social media are inconsistent with the details revealed so far during the investigation. The incident was immediately addressed as a medical call, with on-scene responses from LVMPD, McCarran staff, and CCFD paramedics. The traveler was transported off airport to a local hospital within minutes of the incident.

A charred battery associated with a “vaping” device was recovered by police from the area of the store in which the incident occurred. This battery is being investigated as the likely cause of the burn."

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