Belgian tourists heavily burned after boat explodes

Belgian tourists heavily burned after boat explodes
Five Belgians were severely burned after their boat exploded as it was leaving the port of Benicarló, Spain. Credit: Wikimedia

Five Belgian holidaymakers have been hospitalised with severe burns after their motorboat burst into flames as it was leaving the port of the Spanish town of Benicarló.

Together with a French national, the five Belgians sustained severe burns after an explosion suddenly went off on board their boat, with flames rapidly engulfing the craft, according to Spanish media.

Two of the boat's passengers were thrown overboard by the powerful blast, with the remaining four jumping into the water to escape the raging flames.

The incident, which took place on Friday in the Valencian port city, prompted a quick response by firefighters which stopped the flames from injuring others nearby.

The boat's passengers, two women in their 40s and four men between 34 and 64 years old, were all initially admitted to the burn victims unit of a local hospital, with local media reporting doctors had given a "guarded prognosis."

On Wednesday evening, a flight flew two of the accident's most severely burned victims into a hospital in northern Brussels, according to Het Nieuwsblad. They are reportedly "in very bad shape," with over 60% of their bodies burned.

Two more are set to be flown in on Thursday, with the fifth expected to be flown in at a later time.

Spanish authorities have launched a judicial inquiry to determine the circumstances leading to the explosion, which remain so far unclear, although the boat's "refuelling methods" are being looked into.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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