Boat explodes after gas was pumped into fishing rod holder

Published: Jun. 3, 2017 at 4:07 PM EDT
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Saturday, June 3, 2017

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) -- A boat exploded at a dock on the North Carolina coast, injuring three, after the boaters accidentally pumped 28 gallons of gasoline into a fishing rod holder instead of the fuel tank.

Scott Pritchard with the state Wildlife Resource Commission told WECT the three people hospitalized are the boat's owner, 40-year-old David Martin Jr. of Charlotte; passenger 35-year-old Jonathan Bickett of Charlotte; and 24-year-old Kendrick Schwarz of Brunswick County.

Schwarz worked for a company called to tow the boat after the two realized the mistake.

As battery cables were being disconnected in an effort to prevent a spark, a spark occurred anyway, igniting the fuel.

Martin and Bickett were airlifted to a Chapel Hill hospital. An ambulance took Schwarz to a hospital in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

(Copyright 2017. Associated Press)