Bronx, NY

Seven injured after e-scooter battery explosion in Bronx Supermarket

Sara Irshad
Photo byBenny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office

Officials have said that an e-scooter battery explosion in a Bronx supermarket on Sunday morning left seven people injured.

The blast caused a fast-moving blaze that ripped through a commercial building, causing significant damage. FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said the fire caused an "extraordinary amount of damage."

The fire, still contained on Sunday afternoon, was caused by a lithium-ion battery commonly used in e-bikes and scooters. Mayor Eric Adams and fire authorities spoke at a press conference about the event and the hazards of non-compliant batteries.

Familiar Culprit: Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in e-bikes and scooters, and this is not the first time they have caused such accidents. Adams said during the press conference, "We have witnessed this repeatedly. We have to adopt the use of these batteries, make sure the illegal batteries are not in the city, and we have to educate the public."

According to video footage shared by the FDNY, the explosion engulfed a small back room in flames and then spread to a next-door laundromat. The fire caused thick plumes of smoke to rise over the city, briefly sweeping through parts of the Bronx Zoo, according to visitors.

Injuries and Damage

The incident injured seven people, including a Con Ed employee, an EMS worker, and five firefighters. Chief John Hodgens said none of the injuries was considered life-threatening, although the speed and force of the fires caused by e-bike batteries make them extremely challenging to extinguish.

The cause of Sunday's fire is still under investigation. It's unclear if the reason was an illegal or defective battery, charger, or something else. However, evidence of a growing public safety threat caused by non-compliant e-bike batteries has prompted City officials to crack down on such batteries.

Crackdown on Non-Compliant E-Bike Batteries

Non-compliant batteries were suspected of starting 22 fires in the first two months of this year, resulting in 36 injuries and two deaths. The City Council enacted several proposals last week to address the problem, including one prohibiting e-bikes without licenced electrical systems from being rented or sold in the city.

In conclusion, the Bronx supermarket e-scooter battery explosion that injured seven people highlights the dangers of non-compliant batteries commonly used in e-bikes and scooters. The incident has prompted City officials to crack down on non-compliant batteries and ensure public safety.

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