The incident happened in Lusby, Calvert County, at approximately 60 miles southeast of Washington.
While a tubing boat was crossing Mill Creek, an affluent of the Patuxent River, it burst into flames, at around 11:30a.m., in the 12500 block of Rousby Hall Road.
Five passengers (3 children and their parents) were on board the 20-foot Wellcraft recreational boat, which exploded and caught fire shortly after being launched. The ship was already around 100 yards from the banks, but all the persons involved managed to save themselves and swim back to the shore.
As the Washington Post has reported, The Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department was alerted after bystanders called 911, and an emergency team was sent at the place of the incident.
However, according to police officers, two of the three girls had suffered severe burns, and the kids were transported immediately by helicopter to the D.C. Children’s Hospital.
A 3-year old toddler was in critical, but stable condition, after sustaining third-degree burns to her face. Her 9-year old sibling was also receiving treatment for first and second-degree burns which had affected her legs, declared Candy Thomson, spokesperson for Maryland Natural Resources (MDNR) Police.
Another girl, aged 8, was currently kept under observation at the hospital. On the other hand, it appears that the children’s parents, 27-year-old Tamara Johnson-Harmon and 31-year old Devyn James Harmon, haven’t sustained injuries following the blast.
According to witnesses, at first a loud boom was heard and they could see the engine cover projected into the air. As the MDNR police has revealed on Twitter, the ship burnt and became engulfed with water very quickly, sinking within minutes of its launch from the marina.
“That thing is gone; it’s just a black charred mess.It doesn’t even look like a boat anymore. I’ll definitely be praying that everyone makes it through this okay”, said Michael Estornell, a local resident who lives about 500 feet from Mill Creek.
As local authorities have revealed, at the moment a local fire marshal is conducting an investigation in order to determine the cause of the tubing boat’s explosion. This process may turn out to be quite lengthy, given the fact that the vessel is burnt to a crisp, and only its frame remains.
Image Source: Twitter