Five people were badly burned and four others hurt when a boat exploded Saturday afternoon at the Lake Weatherford Marina, officials with the Texas Game Wardens said.
Authorities were first sent to the scene at the marina shortly before 3:15 p.m. Game warden officials said the boat had exploded while leaving the marina immediately after the vessel had re-fueled.
Based on their initial investigation, officials believe the explosion was caused by fuel vapors in the boat's bilge, the part of a boat's hull where the bottom curves to meet the vertical sides.
Police said the boat sank near the “no wake” buoys at the opening of the marina, and crews were able to recover it late Saturday night.
A total of nine people were injured in the explosion, although some were more badly wounded than others. Six were taken to a local hospital-- four by helicopter and two by ambulance.
Those taken to the hospital included two girls: a 2-year-old from Weatherford, and a 13-year-old from Aledo. Both had been burned in the explosion, along with a 43-year-old Mineral Wells woman, a 58-year-old Aledo man and a 60-year-old Beaumont man.
The burns were at worst second-degree, officials said, although 40 percent of one passenger's body was burned in the explosion.
Two Weatherford women, one 27, the other 39, also had minor injuries, along with a 17-year-old Midlothian boy.
A 40-year-old Weatherford man who was the operator of the boat only received cuts and scrapes, officials said.
All of those injured were stable, according to the most recent report from the game warden officials.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing by the Texas Game Wardens and Texas Parks and Wildlife.