Photo- Missouri State Highway Patrol
A great day on the water almost turned deadly as 16 people were injured in a fuel dock explosion on Lake of the Ozarks on Friday afternoon.
Missouri State Police said the explosion occurred when the captain of a 2000 Carver cruiser turned on their ignition after refueling at the Millstone Marina according to an incident report.
An apparent spark in the engine bay caused an explosion, which ejected three people from the boat. Two people who were on the fuel dock were also injured.
According to police, injuries among the 16 victims range from minor to serious injuries. Four adults and one teenager were taken to a local hospital, while the remaining 11 were treated at the scene.
There has been no indication that any malfunction with the boat or its blowers caused the explosion. As of publishing, the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been laid.
The damage to the Carver boat was extensive and included shattered windows, a broken bimini, and damage to the exterior fibreglass of the hull. Photos show a full-scale blowout of the hull surrounding the engine bay near the transom and swim platform. The boat had to be towed from its location.
The incident marks another eventful summer on Lake of the Ozarks. Known as one of the most popular boating playgrounds in North America with over 1,1000 miles (1770 km) of pristine shoreline, the area also made headlines last month when a boat crashed into a house on shore, injuring 8 passengers.
The area is also home to some of the biggest boating events in the world including the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout — the largest unsanctioned charity boat race in the U.S. It’s also an extremely popular testing ground for high performance boats and manufacturers looking to break speed records.