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Folks hurt when boat explodes

One man remains hospitalized after surviving an explosion on a 1967 cruising boat in the middle of the Upper Willamette River early Saturday morning.

Ten passengers were aboard the boat, which stalled in the middle of the upper Willamette River and exploded approximately one-half mile from the Willamette Falls between West Linn and Oregon City, Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies reported. The boat was owned and operated by Ryan A. Smith, Oregon City, who owns Ryan's Scenic Float Plane Flights of Oregon City.

Smith and his passengers were attempting to restart the engine of the boat when a large explosion sent a flash throughout the boat, hurling at least one male passenger roughly six feet into the air and onto the ignited engine compartment.

That passenger - 34-year-old Chris Bresaw - remains hospitalized in fair condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

Everyone still aboard immediately jumped overboard into the Willamette River and conducted a head count - confirming all were accounted for.

As the group elected to swim to the Oregon City shoreline, a secondary explosion was observed on the burning boat from a distance. A fire totally engulfed the boat, which eventually sank in the middle of the river.

Apparently five people were either transported to local hospitals by ambulance or by personally owned motor vehicles. They were suffering from minor burns, treated and released.