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Contact: Alan Alldredge, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, (435) 689-0143
Contact: Erin Janicki, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area,, (928) 608-6212,
On the afternoon of August 18, 2017, National Park Service Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dispatch received a report of a boat explosion with several injured persons and possible flame and smoke still present at the Bullfrog Fuel Dock on Lake Powell in Kane County, Utah. Several National Park Service personnel responded to the incident and triaged seven patients, ranging from three to 53 years old, suffering from partial thickness burns. The patients were transported to the Bullfrog medical clinic; five of the patients were then transported to larger medical facilities via fixed wing and rotor medical aircraft.
While patient treatment was underway, the damaged vessel was towed away from the fuel dock and moored to the fuel dock breakwater where it began to list; the vessel was towed to shore by ARAMARK Executive Services and was retrieved on August 19, 2017.
Witnesses stated that refueling was completed, but the boat became untied and started drifting away from the dock. The boat operator then started the boat before proper ventilation time could be achieved. Initial investigation indicates that the cause of the explosion was inadequate ventilation of low bilge areas prior to ignition of the boat.
The Utah State Fire Marshall is leading the investigation on the cause of the boat explosion. The National Park Service is also conducting a separate investigation into the incident.