CCTV shows the moment a man ran for cover when his e-bike exploded into a fireball at a block of flats.
The scooter burst into flames outside Avi Gooransingh's property in Roehampton, south-west London, on 20 May.
He was seen at the entrance of the flat he shares with his mum and sister as the bike’s battery erupted.
The explosion quickly produced a white and grey-coloured highly flammable and toxic vapour cloud, igniting a fireball a second later.
He narrowly avoided the fire and was able to run back into his flat.
🚨This footage shows just how dangerous it can be when a faulty e-bike lithium battery catches fire and explodes.🔥
Thankfully no one was hurt in this particular incident, which took place in #Roehampton, south west London, last weekend. pic.twitter.com/fnCXAcnPjp
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) May 26, 2023
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been unable to determine precisely why the bike exploded, but Gooransingh said he knew something was not quite right because of the smell.
He said: “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.
“When the bike exploded, I panicked. 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.”
LFB, which was quickly on the scene and safely put out the fire, have now released the CCTV footage as a warning to others who use e-bikes.
LFB has been running its #ChargeSafe campaign, highlighting the fire risks associated with lithium batteries commonly used with e-bikes.
It has been called to 52 e-bike and 12 e-scooter fires so far in 2023, including one fatal incident on New Years Day.
Sofia Duarte, 21, died on 1 January after a converted e-bike battery burst into flames in the entrance of her flat in Old Kent Road, south-east London.
LFB Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said: “Although we can’t be sure why this particular battery failed, we do know that Avi’s e-bike was purchased second-hand and that an additional battery pack, bought from an online marketplace, had been fitted.
“Cheaper batteries purchased from online sources which don’t necessarily adhere to UK safety regulations are more likely to fail and present an increased fire risk.
"Our advice is also to buy from a reputable seller.
“As the video clearly shows, once the bike goes into thermal runaway, it can lead to a rapid and ferocious fire.”