A boat ignited in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, injuring 13 people.
At least 21 people were on the boat when it caught fire around 2 p.m. The explosion was caught on video, Fox News reported. Some of the boaters are still missing.
Boat engulfed in flames
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue workers and police officers arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Marine Center to find heavy smoke and flames engulfing the boat. Multiple fireboats also responded to the accident.
“We got initial reports of multiple individuals in the water with civilian boats in the area rescuing people that were burned and bringing them to the seawall for care,” FLFR Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan told WSVN.
Nearby boaters Trent Perez, Zach Sparrow and Bret King helped passengers get off the vessel before it completely succumbed to the fire.
Nonetheless, seven of the boat passengers had to go to Broward Health Medical Center. Two of them were in critical condition. One person was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s burn unit.
Explosion out of nowhere
“The smoke had just pretty much gotten to its high point, that the fire was about to start,” Sparrow said, describing the rescue to WSVN. “Seconds later, a flame started. They all jumped on, and we tried to get as far away as possible.”
The people rescued from the boat said they had been shooting a music video at the time the fire started.
“Out of nowhere, after just pumping gas maybe five, six minutes before, out of nowhere, it completely exploded,” boater Abraham Alejandro said.
The 41-foot Wellcraft boat had been floating along the New River toward the Intracoastal Waterway, the Sun Sentinel reported. After a blast sounded across the river, nearby boaters called 911. Then they watched some of the people tumble or leap from the boat to escape the flames.
The fire was out by around 3:30 p.m. Fort Lauderdale authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire.