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Two injured from boat explosion

HAMMONDSPORT--The 37th annual Wine Country Classic Boat Show took a scary turn when a classic boat exploded, caught fire and sank at the Hammondsport waterfront, Saturday, July 20.
As the antique boats began to queue on the lake for the parade in front of the spectators on shore, a 20 foot 1955 Century Coronado boat experienced an explosion which ultimately led the boat to sink. There were two passengers on board at the time of the incident, one of whom was airlifted from the scene.
Various witnesses of the event recalled a large bang which could be heard throughout Depot Park and even across the lake with debris being scattered in the water after the explosion. Accounts and photos show the explosion blew out most of the front of the boat including the top deck.
The Coronado uses an inboard engine that is covered and enclosed to separate the passenger compartment from the propulsion equipment.
On the scene, Hammondsport Fire Chief Bill Fries said the fire was in the lower portion of the boat and that fuel fumes in the bilge area likely led to the explosion. He added the woman in the boat had burns on her lower extremities and was being flown to Rochester. The man was treated locally for lacerations.
The Hammondsport Fire Department participates in the boat show annually by having their fire boat included in the parade and often demonstrating the fire fighting features on the specialty vessel. When the fire broke out on the Century, firefighters were already on scene and were able to spray water on the boat to help control the incident. The Steuben County Sheriff was also on patrol with their marine unit.
Floating debris was recovered by the boats and organized on shore for police to photograph. Officials said they expected to dive the wreck Sunday and it was estimated to be in about 60 feet of water.
In addition to the Hammondsport Fire Department, Steuben County Sheriff and the New York State Police also responded to the incident.
The parade ended up being canceled Saturday, but the remainder of events occurred on Sunday.

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