"We had a vessel that had 7 passengers on it," Lt. Felipe Lay of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue told Patch on Sunday. "There was an explosion apparently that people had heard. It appears that there was some sort of fuel leak possibly and the vapors had flashed. They ignited instantaneously." (Sign up for our free Daily Newsletters and Breaking News Alerts for the Palmetto Bay-Cutler Bay Patch.)
Lay said the call came in at 8:58 a.m. First responders initiated the department's mass casualty protocol based on the number of victims and the severity of their injuries.
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Two off the victims were taken to Ryder Trauma Center of Jackson Memorial Hospital and the other two were taken to Kendall Regional Trauma Center. First responders airlifted two of the victims.
Lay said he did not know what caused the fumes to ignite.
"What we advise the public to do is to please make sure your boat is in condition to travel," he explained. "Make sure if you do smell any fumes, immediately shut off the engine and extinguish any possible ignition sources."
That includes cigarettes and even e-cigarettes since firefighters do not yet know enough about them to say whether they can serve as an ignition source.