Explosions occur far too frequently in the United States. News reports about them are practically unavoidable, whether in your Facebook feed or when watching the local TV news.
If you set a Google alert for “explosion,” your inbox will be inundated with updates.
Here is a look at recent explosions involving boats:
Lake Catherine boat explosion
sends six to hospital
From news services: Officials said six people were injured when a boat exploded and burned on a boat ramp along an Arkansas lake. The explosion occurred Saturday afternoon on a boat ramp along Lake Catherine near Hot Springs, about 55 miles southwest of Little Rock.
Doug Davey of the Lake Hamilton Fire Department said three people were transported by a helicopter for medical treatment, and three others were taken to hospitals via an ambulance. The six victims were not identified, and the extent of their injuries was not immediately made known.
Davey said the cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
Lake Catherine boat explosion: extended family
Cheryl Vincent, superintendent of Lake Catherine State Park, said the six victims were members of an extended family that included grandparents, parents, and children.
Davey said one firefighter was off-duty when the boat exploded. “He initiated the fire department response by calling me,” Davey said. “So we were headed that way when they called 911 and dispatched us. And since he was in the vicinity when it happened, we were able to provide almost immediate assistance.”
Lake Catherine boat explosion: gas leaks into lake
Davey said gasoline was released into the lake, but the Fire Department was using booms to remove the hazardous liquid.
“There will be no lasting affects to the lake,” Davey said. “We’re doing that now, and it’ll be cleaned up by the time we leave today.”
Lake Catherine boat explosion: multiple respondents
Davey said that in addition to the local fire department, respondents were present from the Hot Spring County sheriff’s office, Hot Spring County Department of Emergency Management, Arkansas State Parks, multiple ambulance services, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Keith Stephens, a spokesperson for the Game and Fish Commission, said the agency will not be officially investigating the incident because the explosion happened on the lake’s ramp, making the investigation the responsibility of the Hot Spring County sheriff’s office. He also said the agency will offer assistance in any way necessary.
Missouri boat explosion
sends five to hospital
From the Kansas City Star: According to latest recreational boating statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, just two years ago, there were 157 boating accidents involving fuel-related fire or explosions, resulting in two deaths and 103 injuries.
The online news site LakeExpo covered several explosions similar to Saturday’s in Arkansas over the past two years on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s a look at three of those:
- A 47-year-old Sunrise Beach man was injured last June when his boat exploded just after refueling at the Paradise Bar & Grill’s docks.
- A month later, a 20-year-old Eldon woman was seriously injured when her 2002 Polaris personal watercraft exploded when she tried to start it.
- The summer before, a 76-year-old Nevada, Missouri man was killed when a boat exploded at the gas docks at Pier 31. A 58-year-old El Dorado Springs woman was seriously injured in the blast.
LakeExpo also reported boaters were being urged to check for gas vapors in the engine compartments of their boats.
“We remind boaters to use the exhaust blower for at least 4 minutes after fueling & before starting the engine to remove gas vapors in the bilge,” the Missouri Highway Patrol Troop F tweeted after a recent boat explosion on Lake of the Ozarks in which five members of a Kansas City family were injured, and two of them were hospitalized.
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in fires and explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: