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8 injured in Southern Calif. yacht blast

(Xinhua)

13:51, November 27, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Eight people sustained injuries after a power boat they were aboard exploded in the Huntington Beach in Southern California on Saturday, authorities said.

The blast, which occurred on a 2003-made, 7.3-meter-long Monterey sports yacht, took place just before noon at the Sunset Beach Harbor, said Sgt. Jeff Foster from the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol.

The boat owner had smelled gas when he launched the ill-fated boat from a public dock, Foster said. There were nine people on the boat when the incident happened.

The huge explosion threw four of those aboard into the sea. As the pleasure boat was caught in fire, several more jumped out.

A passerby radioed for help, and rescue workers rushed to the scene to fish the injured out and took them to local hospitals.

The injures range from burns,contusions, scratches to possible broken bones, authorities said. Some of the victims were released, according to Foster.

The explosion and ensuing fire was so catastrophic that the craft has sunk.

The charred wreckage remained in the water as officials work to retrieve it. The authorities have began to investigate the incident.

The explosion was likely caused by a fuel leak in the boat's engine compartment, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department.

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