Explosion destroys boat on Housatonic River

This 29-foot Formula boat was destroyed on Tuesday after one of its engines exploded. Stratford firefighters said the boat was out for a test drive when the explosion happened. — Contributed photo

A boat was destroyed after it caught fire in the Housatonic River off the coast of Stratford.

Stratford Fire Marshal Brian Lampart said a mechanic from Beacon Point Marina in Shelton had taken the 29-foot Formula boat on the water near Sikorsky Aircraft for a test drive at around noon Tuesday when one of its engines exploded. Lampart said the mechanic, who was on the boat by himself, called over to another boat and got off of the burning boat to escape. The burning boat was then stuck on a sandbar and firefighters could not get close enough to put the fire out.

Stratford police and fire department marine units were eventually able to reach the burning boar. No one was injured and the boat was declared a total loss.

Investigators from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene. Stratford firefighters put containment booms in the water to contain any fluids that went into the water.