Lack of ventilation and mechanical failure are being blamed for a boat blowing up sending five people from Kansas City, including a 6-year-old girl, to the emergency room. The water patrol division of the highway patrol says it happened Saturday afternoon when 71-year-old Robert Baber started the boat shortly after filling it with fuel. The explosion sent one of the occupants into the water with moderate injuries. Three others, including the 6-year-old who was wearing a safety device, also suffered moderate injuries and were treated at Lake Regional. One other occupant, a 42-year-old, suffered serious injuries and was flown to University Hospital.
While the five people injured in the boat explosion were lucky it wasn’t any worse than it already was, the water patrol division of the highway patrol is sending out a reminder that such an incident is, for the most part, avoidable. Boaters are being reminded, after fueling up, to use the exhaust blower for at least four minutes after fueling and before starting the engine. That allows for gas vapors to be removed from the bilge making it safe to restart the boat.