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Elliot Olsen is a nationally respected explosion lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were injured in this Missouri boat explosion, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Explosions have become a daily occurrence in the United States. Whether in a residential area, at a factory, or on a lake, they’ve simply – and unfortunately – become a part of life.

Here is a look at two recent news stories about explosions:

Missouri boat explosion injures 5 on Lake of the Ozarks

Five family members, including a 6-year-old girl, from Kansas City were injured in a boat explosion on Lake of the Ozarks, about 150 miles southeast of Kansas City.

The boat had refueled at about 2 p.m. Saturday at the Millstone Marina in Morgan County, according to an incident report. The driver started the boat immediately after filling up with gas, which caused an explosion because there was not enough ventilation “and a mechanical failure.”

“We remind boaters to use the exhaust blower for at least 4 minutes after fueling and before starting the engine to remove gas vapors in the bilge,” Missouri State Troopers said in a tweet.

Missouri boat explosion injures fiveMissouri boat explosion:
Two still in hospital

Two family members remained hospitalized in Columbia, Missouri. The family, which owns a house on the lake, was celebrating Father’s Day weekend when the 25-foot Chris-Craft exploded.

“We were trying to start the motor and basically it was not starting and not starting and then it pretty much exploded,” Ryan Baber said. “It was very scary.”

The explosion and flash fire separated the boat’s top cap from the hull.

Missouri boat explosion:
One seriously hurt

The two family members who remained in the hospital were Baber’s sister, Cynthia Sterling, and her partner, Carl Harris. Harris is the most seriously injured, with a broken knee, broken hand, and third- and fourth-degree burns. Baber’s sister has burns on her legs.

Their daughter, Grace Harris, 6, also suffered burns. Baber said he and his father, Robert Baber, had minor burns, and Baber is on crutches because of a sprained foot.

Missouri boat explosion:
Scary ordeal

The explosion turned the celebration into a scary, and nearly tragic, ordeal.

“We have a 6-year-old with first- and second-degree burns who is separated from her parents,” Baber said. “But luckily she’s here with me — her uncle — and her grandparents. We are trying to keep her spirits up.”

Ryan Baber said he didn’t know why the boat would fail to start and then explode. It had never happened to them before.

“It was very sudden and traumatic,” he said. “What’s important is that everyone is OK and we all survived. We will eventually heal. Carl is in the worse shape of all of us. We’re definitely pulling for him and trying to take care of him.”

Missouri boat explosion:
Not uncommon

There were 157 boating accidents involving fuel-related fire or explosions, resulting in 2 deaths and 103 injuries, in 2017, according to latest recreational boating statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard.

LakeExpo, an online news site, covered several similar explosions over the past two years on Lake of the Ozarks. One of those explosions killed a man and injured three people.

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 man from Nevada, Missouri, 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.

The site also reported boaters were being urged last year to check for gas vapors in the engine compartments of their boats.

Two killed in Rapatee blast are identified

Knox County officials in Illinois identified the two people who died in a June 9 house explosion in Rapatee: Wanda Swain, 77, and David L. Swain Jr., 51, both residents along Illinois 97 in Rapatee.

Knox County detective sergeant Brian Brady said the cause of the explosion is still under investigation and that it’s “too early to really say” what caused it. He also said no foul play is suspected.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal is working with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department on the investigation of the explosion.


Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: