UPDATE: 3 of 5 People Injured in Boat Explosion Released From Ho - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UPDATE: 3 of 5 People Injured in Boat Explosion Released From Hospital

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Photo: Newswatcher Patrick McAllorum Photo: Newswatcher Patrick McAllorum
OCEAN PINES - Md. -  Maryland Natural Resource Police say three of the five people injured when a 24-foot boat exploded Sunday afternoon in Worcester County, were treated and released as of Sunday evening.

The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department says it happened just before 2:00 p.m. on Boatswain Drive.

Candy Thomson with the Maryland Natural Resource Police say 54-year-old Neil Edwards, his wife Bonnie, and his daughter Shannon were enjoying their Labor Day weekend with some friends at their summer home in Ocean Pines. Thomson says the Edwards are from Springfield, VA but also own the home in Ocean Pines.

Thomson says around 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Neil Edwards started up his boat to prepare to go on a ride with his family and friends. He told police he opened up the hatches and turned on the blower to ventilate the engine, then went back into the house to finish getting ready. Thompson says Edwards was inside the house for about ten to fifteen minutes, which she says is plenty of time to properly ventilate the system in normal circumstances.

Edwards told police he, his wife, his daughter, and his two friends from California boarded the boat and backed up preparing to leave the dock, but he says when he shifted the boat forward, the boat burst into flames.

Thomson says all five people were thrown overboard when the boat exploded. It was not clear if they were thrown by the force of the explosion or they jumped overboard. Thomson says neighbors came to help the five people out of the water, and the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department arrived soon later to extinguish the flames.

Patrick McAllorum says he lives just two doors down from where it happened. He said he was out walking his dog when he heard the rumble of an explosion and saw thick black smoke billowing into the sky. He says when he went to investigate, he saw the boat engulfed in flames. He says he later saw one person being loaded into an ambulance with burns on his leg.

Thomson says the fire destroyed the interior of the boat, and the boat on the starboard side was burned to the water line.

She says Edwards' two friends, 49-year-old Dawn VanDeursen and 57-year-old Larry MacPherson, were flown by the Maryland State Police Aviation Unit to Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore with burns to their lower legs and arms. Thomson says they were expected to stay there for up to two days.

Thomson says Neil Edwards, 54, and Bonnie Edwards, 48, were taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and were treated and released by Sunday evening. Their daughter, Shannon, 18, was treated at the scene but required no additional medical attention.

The Maryland Natural Resource Police is taking the lead on this investigation. The Worcester County Fire Marshal is also investigating and will give their report to the NRP.
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