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Conservation police investigating LaSalle County boat explosion - 5/29/2022

SENECA – Illinois Conservation Police are continuing to investigate a boat explosion at a marina along the Illinois River in LaSalle County that injured 14 people late Saturday afternoon.

The river was open as of Sunday, but boaters were urged to drive cautiously near the site because the sunken vessel has not been removed from the water. Authorities and representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were at the scene and assisting with recovery operations, which were expected to be completed sometime Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at Springbrook Marina in Seneca. A 40-foot vessel with 17 people on board had just completed fueling. Based on interviews and a review of video footage, authorities say it appears the explosion happened from inside the vessel.

Thirteen people from the boat were taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries. One of them was flown to a Chicago hospital with critical injuries. A marine employee also was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

No information is being released at this time about the identities of the people involved.

The Illinois Conservation Police are leading the investigation with assistance from the Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.