Father's Day boat explosion ruled accidental

BUFORD -- A Father's Day boat explosion was ruled accidental on Tuesday, as Gwinnett firefighters said the 1957 wooden vessel experienced mechanical problems prior to the blast.

Three people were injured in the boat fire on Lake Lanier on Sunday and were reportedly transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. A spokeswoman at Grady declined to update their status on Tuesday, or if the injured were released from the hospital. One of the injured was a 13-year-old.

The boat's operator told investigators that the vessel experienced near stalls and an actual stall before the explosion, Gwinnett Fire Lt. Colin Rhoden said. The incident happened several hundred yards from the shoreline. Arson investigators said the incident was indicative of a marine vessel explosion where fuel vapors contact an ignition source.

A flash fire and smaller fire came after the explosion on the 1957 Chris Craft, which didn't have a gasoline fume exhaust blower, which aids to remove explosive vapors, Rhoden said.

Arson investigators said the exact ignition source was unknown and could have come from several sources, but the explosion and fire were accidental, Rhoden said.

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