The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to a Seneca marina to assist with recovery operations following a boat fire that injured 15 people, including one seriously, during Memorial Day Weekend.
A total of 17 people were on a 40-foot boat when flames erupted at approximately 4:26 p.m. Saturday at the Spring Brook Marina, 623 W. River Dr. Thirteen people on board were transported to area hospitals, and a 14th victim was airlifted to a Chicago hospital with critical injuries, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said in a post on social media.
An employee at the marina also sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital. Based on interviews and video footage of the incident, it's believed the explosion occurred inside the 40-foot vessel, DNR officials said. However, what caused the explosion remains unclear.
A photo posted to social media by the Illinois State Police LaSalle District showed what appeared to be charred remnants of the boat still in the water.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
The nearby river remained open Sunday, but boaters were encouraged to drive cautiously near the site as the investigation continued. The Illinois Conservation Police, EPA and other agencies were working to pull the charred vessel out of the water Sunday and were expected to have removed the boat by the some point in the afternoon.