Florida boat fire erupted during music video, cameraman says

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Firefighters work to put out a fire on a boat on the New River in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Authorities said 13 people have burn injuries after the 41-foot pleasure boat exploded and caught fire. - Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Two people remained hospitalized with serious burns Friday after a boat erupted in flames on a trip to make a music video.

Twenty-one people were packed onto the 41-foot Wellcraft when it caught fire Thursday on the New River in Fort Lauderdale. Thirteen were hurt, many of them pulled from the water by passing boaters.

Abraham Alejandro, 25, said he was the cameraman making the video for musical artist Jaican.

“Just glad to have made it out alive,” he said on Instagram. “This is extremely traumatizing and I learned a lot today. Thank the Lord I made it out alive. I lost all my camera gear, but I still have my life and I’ll bounce back from this crap.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Alejandro could not be reached by phone Friday. He told WTVJ-TV that he tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but it was empty.

“There was no noise or anything, just out of nowhere, boom,” he said. “It was just a huge explosion that went off.”

The boat erupted about 2 p.m. near Lauderdale Marine Center, on the south fork of the river. Passengers were thrown into the water or jumped to escape the flames.

Of the 13 people hurt, seven were hospitalized. Five have since been discharged from Broward Health Medical Center. Two were taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Authorities have not disclosed who owned the boat or identified the 21 passengers.


©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS
Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS
Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS