EDGEWATER, Md. (TheBlaze/AP) -- Fire officials say eight people have been hospitalized after an explosion and fire on a boat in the South River near Edgewater, Maryland.
It happened about noon Monday at the Oak Grove Marina. Anne Arundel County Fire Department Division Chief Keith Swindle says the 32-foot pleasure boat had just refueled when the engine stalled. He said while the owner was trying to restart the engine, an explosion and flash fire occurred.
The marina's fuel dock (Photo: Oak Grove Marina)
Natural Resources Police say three children, ages 9 and 13, were taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore. Five other children and adults were taken to area hospitals. They suffered from burns. Authorities said their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
WJZ reported witness Care Corradin saying a man, who appeared to be the dad on the boat, was "actually picking kids up and throwing them into the water" to help them escape.
Corradin went on to describe the scene as having "a ton of smoke just billowing out the back" and noting that the man went back in toward the fire to retrieve life vests for the children he had just thrown from the wreck.
Anne Arundel County fire investigators told WJZ that the children might have been sitting on the engine compartment when it exploded after the boat refueled.
Here's WJZ's report, which includes a demonstration of how the use of blowers might prevent such an accident (this boat's blowers were in use before the engine was started though, according to officials):
“Everyone on board should count their blessings. It was very fortunate that we were close to the dock and we were able to get here so quickly,” Capt. Charles Vernon of Maryland Natural Resources Police said, according to WJZ.
Natural Resources Police are investigating the explosion.