OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — Officials say that a boat exploded at a dock on the North Carolina coast seriously injuring at least 3 people.
Local media outlets report the explosion occurred at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center at Ocean Isle Beach, which is 175 miles south of Raleigh.
One man, who was on the scene at the time of the explosion says the people injured were trying to turn off the battery after a fueling mishap, and that caused a spark that triggered the explosion, Spectrum News reports.
“They were in the process of hooking the boat up to take back to the marina so they could pull it and pump the gas out of the bilge and the boat exploded unfortunately. I mean, it sounded like a cannon when it went off it was a loud boom. Immediately cut the emergency cut off to gas pumps to the dock and called 911,” said Jeff Williams, a witness.
Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told local media outlets that two people on the boat were airlifted to hospitals, and a third person who was on the dock was taken to a hospital in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Fox News reported.
Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner said the boat was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. He said they brought the fire under control and were working to limit the spread of leaking fuel in the water.
The condition of the injured is unknown at this time.
— Mason Estep (@TheRealMagua) June 2, 2017