ST. GEORGE – Seven people were injured Friday afternoon at Lake Powell when their houseboat exploded near a fuel dock.
Emergency responders at the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area were sent to a fuel dock at the Bullfrog marina after receiving report of a houseboat explosion in which several people were injured, according to a joint news release issued Monday by the National Park Service and Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
“Several National Park Service personnel responded to the incident and triaged seven patients, ranging from three to 53 years old, suffering from partial thickness burns,” the release states.
The patients were taken to the Bullfrog medical clinic with five ultimately flown to larger medical facilities via plane and helicopter.
The names of those involved have not being released.
Witnesses said the houseboat had become untied from the dock and was drifting away after refueling. The boat’s operator started the houseboat at that point, and the explosion followed. Witnesses stated they believed not enough time was given for proper ventilation after refueling.
Initial investigation indicates that the cause of the explosion was inadequate ventilation of low bilge areas prior to ignition of the boat.
The houseboat was towed to the shore.
The Utah State Fire Marshall and National Park Service are conducting separate investigations into the incident.
A houseboat explosion also occurred on Lake Powell in the Crystal Springs Canyon area in mid-July. The houseboat’s generator was reported to have exploded during attempts to start it. That incident resulted in the death of a Colorado woman and injured four others.
This report is based on statements from emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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