Assistant Morehead City Fire Chief Dykeman Baily said the explosion was likely caused by a fuel leak that ignited after a person attempted to turn the boat on while placing it into the water. The person turning the ignition, who Mr. Baily said is not the boat’s owner, was the only occupant at the time of the explosion.
The injured person was transported to Carteret Health Care, but the extent of their injuries and their current status was unknown. Mr. Baily said the fire was an accident and no charges have been filed.
The Morehead City Fire Department responded with assistance from the Beaufort Police Department. Upon arriving, crews got the fire under control “within minutes,” Mr. Baily said, and they cleared the scene within about an hour.
Mr. Baily said the force of the explosion caused the boat to become partially disassembled. Though the damage appeared severe, he said he boat likely can be repaired.