5 Injured in boat explosion on Saguaro Lake

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause of a boat explosion at Saguaro Lake Sunday afternoon.

According to MCSO spokesman Joaquin Enriquez, Roderick Harrison was launching his 21-foot Donzi Regatta at boat ramp No. 1 at about 1:30 p.m. His 14-year-old sister and three other people were onboard.

Enriquez said prior to starting the boat, Harrison had turned on the vent fan and lifted the engine hatch. The fan and hatch were open for two to three minutes before he started the engine.

As soon as Harrison turned the ignition, there was an explosion in the engine compartment, injuring all five passengers. Their injuries were not considered life threatening.

Two of the female occupants were transported to Maricopa Medical Center for minor burns and other injuries.

Harrison's sister, Tiffani Maggard, suffered additional injuries to her legs, including a possible fractured ankle.

At the time of the explosion, the boat was in the water but still tied to the boat trailer. Enriquez said Harrison got everyone off of the boat and then unhooked the boat from the trailer.

The boat burned to the waterline and was destroyed. In addition, part of the dock at the boat ramp was burned.

At this time, it does not appear that drugs or alcohol were factors in the accident, according to Enriquez.

Saguaro Lake is located east of the Valley in the Tonto National Forest.