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San Diego man suffers burns in boat accident

A San Diego boater is recuperating following an explosion on his boat that caused him to suffer serious burn injuries to his legs, hands and face. Local fire department investigators are not yet sure of the reason for the explosion, but they believe that it was caused by fuel fumes that ignited when the boater flipped his boat's battery switch on.

The boat accident took place in the early morning hours as the man backed his boat into the water at the Shelter Island boat ramp. Suddenly, there was an explosion which started a small fire. When San Diego fire department officials arrive on the scene, they reported that there was no evidence of a substantial fire.

For the boater, however, the damage was already done: he reportedly suffered second-degree burns to his face, hands and legs before he was able to get away from the fire. He was taken to and treated at the UCSD Burn Center, and his current status is not known. Reports do not indicate whether his boat suffered serious damage in the explosion.

Fire department officials are continuing to investigate the incident, but they believe that the explosion was caused by fuel fumes that ignited when the boat's battery switch was turned on. In addition, investigators found a can of gasoline near the boat, which most likely contributed to the severity of the explosion.

If it is found that the explosion was caused by a defect in the boat or any of its parts, the boater might have a valid personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the defective part. It remains to be seen whether investigators determine that to be the case.

Source: NBC San Diego, "Man Burned In Boat Explosion," Wendy Fry, Sept. 15, 2012

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