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Monday August 31st, 2015 3:57PM

Boat fire on Lanier ruled accidental

By Staff
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County arson investigators said Tuesday a boat fire on Lake Lanier that left three people injured this past weekend has been ruled accidental.

Investigators said the operator of the boat told them the vessel had been having mechanical problems prior to the explosion and fire near Buford Dam Park. Specifically, the boat operator said that the vessel experienced near stalls with an actual stall and no other indications of problems until the time of the explosion. A flash fire and a smaller fire occurred about 20 minutes after the family got the boat into the water, several hundred yards from shore.

While investigators could not pinpoint an exact cause for the fire on board the 1957 Chris Craft, they said it was indicative of a marine vessel explosion where fuel vapors contact an ignition source. They noted the boat did not have a gasoline fume exhaust blower which helps with the removal of explosive vapors from the bilge area.

All three people on board the boat escaped serious injury, although a 13-year-old girl was hospitalized with third degree burns.

The accident happened Father's Day Sunday around 2 p.m.

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