According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, James Holcomb, of Nevada, Mo., was the captain of a 1989 Carver Santiago Bay that was refueling at Pier 31's gas dock. A witness at the scene said the blower was not run during the refueling, however the exact cause of the explosion has not been confirmed. The boat exploded after refueling. A witness reported said bystanders helped push the boat out into the water after the occupants were moved to safety.
Though initially the Patrol says they were told that the boat fire was out, as emergency responders arrived, they found the boat was fully engulfed in flames. The boat drifted past the breakwater to a nearby point. Mid-County Fire Protection District responded with a fire boat and crews worked to extinguish the fire at a seawall at shore.
Susan Abele-Burns, 58, of El Dorado Springs, Mo., sustained serious injuries and was flown by Mercy Lifeline helicopter to University Hospital for treatment.
Ronald Moore, 76, of Nevada, Mo., sustained serious injuries in the explosion and was flown by Staff For Life helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia. He was pronounced deceased there at 8:34 p.m.