FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A music video shoot aboard a 41-foot boat turned into terror on the water after an explosion that injured 13 people — two people remained hospitalized with serious burns.
Cell phone video shows the boat fully engulfed in flames and audio of screams of terror as the the Wellcraft becomes, what Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, “a floating fireball."
A video posted on Instagram, shot minutes before the explosion on Thursday, shows an artist singing for the cameras with models lining the boat behind him. But then, they told investigators there was an explosion, which sent black smoke billowing into the air. It happened around 2 p.m. on the South Fork New River.
Investigators are still not sure what caused the explosion.
Bret King helped pull people to safety. “(There was) a lot of smoke coming out of the cockpit when we took 3, 4 people off the bow and by the time we got them to the bank the boat was fully engulfed in flames.”
Passengers were jumping into the water or into other boats that came by to help. In the end, 13 of the 21 people on board were injured.
Gollan said all of the injuries were burns. “The burns were all in various states, everything from 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree,” he said.
Two were so severely injured they had to be taken to the Miami Burn Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, one airlifted and the other transported by ground.
More than 50 firefighters worked to knock down the flames and protect other boats and properties nearby.
In addition to the two people who were seriously injured, 5 others were taken to Broward Health, but they have since been released.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is now the lead agency on the investigation. Local 10 reached out to FWC several times for an update, but did not get a response.
As for the person who owns the boat, he didn’t answer the door to his home when Local 10 tried to make contact with him. When he answered the phone, he said he had a lawyer and hung up.
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