WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An explosion aboard a 21-foot Sea Ray injured three young teens Saturday afternoon at Dry Bock Marina on Cass Lake.
The owner of the boat, a 56-year-old Waterford man, was with his two daughters and a family friend.
A 13-year-old girl was treated at the scene for first-degree burns. Her 14-year-old sister had third-degree burns and was rushed to Detroit Children's Hospital. Their family friend, a 15-year-old girl, had second-degree burns, was taken to the hospital and released.
Police said the family went to fill up gas at the marina. A 61-year-old employee started to pump gas into the water fill tube, instead of the gas fill tube.
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They realized the mistake and made plans to return the boat the next day. What they didn't know was the water tank was disconnected for winterizing, which caused gas to drain into the bottom of the boat.
The boat was then started without running the blower, which vents fumes from the engine compartment. When the driver engaged the throttle, the engine compartment exploded.
The three young teens jumped into the water and a marina worker swam to the boat to put out the fire with an extinguisher.
All three girls are expected to recover.
The incident is under investigation.
Police said the employee made a mistake filling the wrong tube. The father, who owns the boat, didn't run the vent motor for the required time.
So far, no one has been charged.