Identities of boat explosion victims confirmed

Local News

HAMMONDSPORT, N.Y. (WETM) – William and Carol Kistner of Batavia were injured after a boat explosion at the 37th annual Wine Country Classic Boat Show in Hammondsport, according to Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard.

William, 63, was treated at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital for lacerations on his head, and his wife, 64, was airlifted to the burn unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for severe burns on her legs.

Carol is listed in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

The Chief of the Hammondsport Fire Department said excessive fumes were most likely the culprit.

A boat blower is used to ventilate explosive fumes. The Chief said the 1955 Century Coronado either did not have the blower on or didn’t have one at all.

A dive team is expected to inspect pieces of the boat on Wednesday.

Bystanders said the blast shot up more than a dozen feet and pushed debris close to the shore.

“I’d say stuff flew 30 to 40 feet in the air, I mean, just everything blew,” Donny Schneider of Williamsport Pa., who witnessed the blast, said.

Schneider recalled the panic at the scene moments after the explosion.

“I’m sure people wanted to go into help, but they needed to stay back so they could get it out,” Schneider said. “It was pretty somber after it went, everybody’s worried.”

The boat show wrapped up early as the fire departments, State Police and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office picked up the pieces of a horrific day on the lake.

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