Today in hoverboards: Priest takes a spin in church, exploding unit burns in mall

The past 24 hours of hoverboard-mania have taught the world that 2015's hottest holiday gift can lead to trouble at work and mass hysteria, along with injuries and fires.

Hoverboard mishaps have led to dozens of injuries, the evacuation of a mall and a Catholic priest's suspension

More hoverboards, more problems. (Left: FLOW Cartegena/Facebook, Right: KPRC 2/Twitter)

In the four days since 2015's "hottest holiday gift" was unleashed from beneath Christmas trees, at least 70 hoverboard-related emergency room visits were reported in the U.S. alone.

Self-balancing scooters (which don't actually hover above the ground, despite what their most-popular moniker implies) have also been linked to 22 separate fires in 17 states by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's most recent numbers.  

Suffice it to say these toys have become well-known at this point for how dangerous they can be — both to our bodies and to our homes.

And yet, hoverboard horror stories continue to roll in by the dozens each day as consumers literally play with fire in the name of fun.

Hoverboard explosion leads to fire at Texas shopping mall

Hundreds of people were reportedly evacuated from a mall in Humble, Texas, on Monday when a hoverboard exploded and caught fire just steps from a kiosk that sold them.

Local firefighters told Houston CBS-affiliate KHOU 11 that the hoverboard was still in its box when the explosion occurred at Deerbrook Mall, and witnesses reported hearing a sound "like a bomb" or "fireworks" at the time of the incident.

A security guard used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, and nobody was injured according to WPIX-TV.

Some shoppers seemed shaken, however, or at least annoyed by the inconvenience as they shared photos of smoke filling the mall before they were forced to leave.

Catholic priest suspended for conducting mass on hoverboard

If you were thinking about bringing your new scooter to work, you may want to reconsider — especially if you work in a church. As a priest.

"Hoverboard priest" has been delighting people around the world since Tuesday when a video of his Christmas Eve mass in the Philippines went viral.

Originally uploaded to Facebook by a Colombian radio station, the video shows an unidentified priest riding through church on a self-balancing scooter while singing May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You into a microphone for nearly three minutes.

The video had been viewed more than 14 million times by Tuesday afternoon, prompting the Roman Catholic diocese of San Pablo in Manila to issue an official response.

"The priest said that it was a wake-up call for him; he acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again," reads the statement, as published by Filipino news site Rappler. "He will be out of the parish and will spend some time to reflect on this past event. He would like to apologize for what happened."

Pope Francis has yet to comment on the situation, though some on Twitter have suggested he'd probably be OK with priests riding hoverboards in light of the church's efforts to connect with Catholic youth.

Mike Tyson gets knocked out by a hoverboard

​The former undisputed world heavyweight champion boxer isn't at the top of his game when it comes to scooter moves, just yet.

Like a good sport, however, Tyson admitted after falling from his daughter's hoverboard that it was probably a bad idea to hop on in the first place.

He joins the growing list of parents who now share that same regret.


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