Authorities have identified the two people who were killed after a boat fire erupted in Long Beach earlier this month.
On Aug. 5, two people were killed and three others were critically injured when flames ignited on a 35-foot pleasure craft at Alamitos Bay near the 200 block of Marina Drive.
Reports from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office list Margaret’s cause of death as blunt head trauma and thermal burns. Sharon’s cause of death was listed as thermal burns and smoke inhalation.
At the time, Long Beach fire crews responded to the burning craft at around 5:17 p.m. The boat was found in close proximity to a fuel dock near Fire Station 21, authorities said.
Images from the scene show large plumes of smoke covering the pier as bystanders looked on. Both land and marine reinforcements responded to the scene the extinguish the blaze.
The charred vessel appeared to be completely damaged at the stern.
Investigators believed the victims may have been in the middle of fueling their boat or had just finished fueling when the flames ignited. There is a possibility that accumulated fumes were ignited, but that detail has not been confirmed.
Bystanders recall the shock and confusion of witnessing the explosion on an otherwise calm Sunday afternoon.
“I was enjoying the park and then I heard this massive explosion,” said witness Chris Berry. “You know it was a very powerful one because you could feel the vibration. Then I just saw billowing smoke. There were people floating in the water but they had debris that they were able to hold onto.”
It’s unclear what ignited the fire as the deadly incident remains under investigation.
“It was very loud,” recalled witness Pete Halboth. ” Everybody got out of their boats and got up on the flybridges and were trying to figure out what happened and then you started seeing the smoke. It’s very unfortunate for the families. My heart goes out to them. It’s a sad day for the boating community down here.”
No further details were released as the investigation remains ongoing.