Mother and toddler narrowly escape horror boat explosion near Sydney as four other passengers remain in induced comas with horrific burns to as much as 60 per cent of their bodies
- Mother and child avoid serious injury after the boat they were on exploded
- It exploded at the Hawkesbury River Marina, Brooklyn, about 5pm Sunday
- Six people with ‘varying burns’ have been rushed to different hospitals
A mother and her two-year-old child have narrowly escaped injury after a boat they were on suddenly exploded north of Sydney.
Emergency services were called to the Hawkesbury River Marina, at Brooklyn, just after 5pm on Sunday following reports eight people were injured during an explosion near Dangar Island.
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said two patients were rushed to Westmead Hospital in a critical condition while four people were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious condition.
Two others were treated for minor injuries by paramedics at the scene.
A female victim is fighting for her life at Royal North Shore Hospital with burns to 60 per cent of her body, while two other women and a man remain in serious conditions and in induced comas at the same hospital.
Eight people have been rushed to hospital after a boat exploded at the Hawkesbury River Marina, at Brooklyn (pictured), just after 5pm on Sunday
NSW Ambulance inspector David Morris said the explosion was the most catastrophic he had seen in his 15-year career.
‘It’s one of the worst incidents I’ve seen in my 15-year career in ambulance, and thankfully we had all the other emergency services here to help us out,’ Morris told media after the incident.
An onlooker said they were eating ice creams at the marina when they noticed the mother and toddler taking pictures near the bow of the vessel.
The woman appeared to be taking pictures with the little one right up until the explosion, which occurred at the other end of the boat.
‘Thankfully the couple with the baby were on the bow of the boat and not near the explosion,’ the witness said.
‘We witnessed a really horrific scene.’
Another witness said a woman with ‘several kids’ had stepped off the boat moments earlier to buy ice cream nearby, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Two people are in a critical condition, four people are in a serious condition, and another two suffered minor injuries
Two of the people on board have suffered burns to up to 60 per cent of their bodies, while the other six had burns to 20 per cent or less of their bodies.
Rural Fire Service volunteers treated the patients at the scene until paramedics arrived.
‘NSW Ambulance along with other emergency services established a triage area to assess all of our patients,’ NSW Ambulance inspector David Morris said in a statement on Sunday evening.
‘Once the area was established, patients were reassessed by NSW Ambulance medical teams.
‘NSW Police provided assistance in escorting these patients to various hospitals with medical teams awaiting their arrival.’
Marine Rescue NSW said there was no one on the 28 foot Bertram when it caught fire, but those injured were believed to be refuelling the vessel at the time.
Two crews from Marine Rescue Hawkesbury began extinguishing the flames before the RFS arrived to put out the fire with assistance of Fire and Rescue NSW.
Fire and Rescue NSW said firefighters were tasked with driving ambulances to allow paramedics to treat patients in transit because of the seriousness of their injuries.
The vessel has sunk in shallow water with a slow fuel leak, with hazardous materials experts called in to contain it.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, with further official updates expected by Monday morning.
Firefighters arrived to find the vessel (pictured) alight with smoke billowing metres into the air