Five people lucky to survive huge speedboat explosion in SA

Witnesses have told how five people are lucky to be alive after a speedboat exploded into a fireball in South Australia.

Three people were burnt in the blast in the Murray River at Blanchetown, but despite their injuries they managed to jump overboard to save themselves.

At first smoke started billowing out of the speedboat's engine bay, but within seconds the situation becomes far more serious, as the boat erupts into a ball of fire.

Witnesses have told how five people are lucky to be alive after a speedboat exploded into a fireball in South Australia. Source: 7 News
Witnesses have told how five people are lucky to be alive after a speedboat exploded into a fireball in South Australia. Source: 7 News

Witness Shirley Cox said the boat burst into flames very quickly.

"Then it was just a whole lot of black smoke," she said.

Another witness, Barry Purcell said the flames were probably up to 10 feet high.

"They were vicious flames, and they just went straight through the boat," he said.

Shirley Cox said the people on the board are lucky to be alive. Source: 7 News
Shirley Cox said the people on the board are lucky to be alive. Source: 7 News

The three people on board, and two others being towed on a biscuit jumped into the water, swimming to a kayaker, who pulled them to safety.

Mr Purcell said: "they were swimming frantically, looking back at the boat, you don't know when it's gonna explode - that was my main fear".

But quick thinking jet skiers were able to douse the flames with their spray, preventing the fire from reaching the fuel tank.

Witness Barry Purcell said the accident is a reminder for boat owners to look after their crafts. Source: 7 News
Witness Barry Purcell said the accident is a reminder for boat owners to look after their crafts. Source: 7 News

Another witness Dave Shearer said: "it was a good thing they did try and put it out, and get it into the water, it probably stopped it blowing up".

The three people on board were taken to a local hospital with serious burns, but those who watched on from the shore say it's incredibly lucky nobody was killed.

Mr Purcell said: "there could have been fatalities, I think the main thing is to wear a life jacket".

"Just maintain your boat, you know you've got a big motor under there, it's undercover, there's gonna be heat there, look after your boat," he said.

Just what caused the fireball isn't known and plans are now underway to salvage the boat from the bottom of the river.

Three people were burnt in the blast, but despite their injuries they managed to jump overboard to save themselves. Source: 7 News
Three people were burnt in the blast, but despite their injuries they managed to jump overboard to save themselves. Source: 7 News
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