Children Burned in Anne Arundel County Boat Explosion

By Pat Collins and Matthew Stabley
|  Tuesday, May 28, 2013  |  Updated 7:02 PM EDT
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Several children are being treated for burns after an explosion on board a boat Monday in the South River near Edgewater, Md.  Two children were medevaced with more serious burns. The boat had just fueled up at  the Oak Grove Marina. News4's Pat Collins talked to witnesses about the frightening scene.

Pat Collins

Several children are being treated for burns after an explosion on board a boat Monday in the South River near Edgewater, Md. Two children were medevaced with more serious burns. The boat had just fueled up at the Oak Grove Marina. News4's Pat Collins talked to witnesses about the frightening scene.

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Two children were flown to a local hospital with burns after a boat explosion about noon Monday in Anne Arundel County.

A 32-foot Wellcraft boat with two engines had just pulled away from Oak Grove Marina on Solomons Island Road in Edgewater after refueling when it stalled, according to the operator. When he tried to restart the engines, there was an explosion and flash fire.

Adults on the boat threw the children into the water, then tossed life jackets to them. They were able to swim back to the dock.

A fire suppression system on the boat quickly extinguished the fire, which possibly was caused by a buildup of vapors in the engine compartment, though the blowers designed to prevent such buildup were on, according to the operator of the boat.  

A 9-year-old boy remained hospitalized Tuesday at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in stable condition. Five other children and two adults, 34-year-old Sonia Villafuerte and 31-year-old Gladys Miranda, were released from various medical facilities.

Investigators are calling the fire accidental.

"There is no evidence of operator error," A Department of Natural Resources representative said.

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