Several injured in houseboat explosion at Lake Powell

Posted at 7:34 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 21:35:52-04

BULLFROG, Utah – An explosion on a houseboat at Lake Powell injured seven people.

The explosion happened at the Bullfrog Marina fuel dock on the afternoon of Friday, August 18, according to a joint news release from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service.

Several National Park Service personnel responded to the incident and triaged the seven patients, ranging in age from three to 53 years old.   The patients were transported to Bullfrog medical clinic, and five were then flown to larger medical facilities for treatment of burns.

Their names or where they live was not released.

While the patients were being treated, crews removed the houseboat from the fuel dock, and towed it to shore.

Witnesses said fueling was complete, but the houseboat became untied and drifted away from the dock.  At that point, witnesses said, the operator started the houseboat before proper ventilation time had been achieved.  The initial investigation points to inadequate ventilation of low bilge areas as the cause of the explosion.

The Utah State Marshall is leading the investigation into the explosion.  The National Park Service is conducting a separate investigation.