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5 injured in explosion on boat in Huntington Harbour channel

An explosion on a boat sailing in a Huntington Beach channel left five people with injuries Sunday, police said.

The recreational boat was sailing in the main channel of Huntington Harbour when the blast occurred at around 12:58 p.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Witnesses heard a loud explosion, then screaming and smoke coming from the boat.

Troy Ford, who lives nearby and was cleaning his own boat, said he heard “a ginormous ‘Ka-bang!’ out of the back” of a 30- to 32-foot boat sailing by in the channel. Then he saw smoke and heard people screaming.

“I immediately called 9-1-1 of course,” Ford told an OnScene.TV videographer.

Lt. Joe Cope of the Sheriff’s Department said five people were injured in the blast: three adults, including two men and a woman, and two minors, a boy and a girl. Another adult was on the boat, but was not injured.

All were taken to nearby hospitals, he said. He didn’t know their conditions.

Footage showed the boat is named the Neptune.

Ford, who along with other Good Samaritans went to help the injured boaters, said he didn’t believe any of them were seriously hurt.

“I did see a kid get blown out of the boat, but it looked like they were all OK,” he said. “They were swimming and able to get on other boats.”

Still, Ford said it was a scary experience.

“Black smoke, a little bit of fire,” he said. “A lot of screaming, which was really nerve-wracking.”

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion. Cope said the Sheriff’s Department was still investigating.

Source: Orange County Register

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