HAMMONDSPORT, N.Y. (WETM) — A Batavia couple was injured after their boat exploded just minutes prior to a parade at the 37th annual Wine Country Classic Boat Show in Hammondsport.
The Chief of the Hammondsport Fire Department said excessive fumes were most likely the culprit.
A boat blower is used to ventilate explosive fumes. The Chief said the 1955 Century Coronado either did not have the blower on or didn’t have one at all.
After the blast, the boat snapped in half and sunk into Keuka Lake, injuring a husband and wife from Batavia.
The husband was treated at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital for lacerations on his head.
His wife was airlifted to the burn unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for severe burns on her legs.
Bystanders said the blast shot up more than a dozen feet and pushed debris close to the shore.
“I’d say stuff flew 30 to 40 feet in the air, I mean, just everything blew,” Donny Schneider of Williamsport Pa., who witnessed the blast, said.
Schneider recalled the panic at the scene moments after the explosion.
“I’m sure people wanted to go into help, but they needed to stay back so they could get it out,” Schneider said. “It was pretty somber after it went, everybody’s worried.”
The boat show wrapped up early as the fire departments, State Police and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office picked up the pieces of a horrific day on the lake.