One dead, two injured after boat fire on James River

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jul 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-08 17:02:13-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -A Hopewell man died Saturday night after the 20-foot boat he was riding in, along with eight others, caught fire.

Lee Walker, with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries confirmed that the boat caught fired around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, near the Dutch Gap boat landing that is located near Henricus historical park.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but Walker confirmed that the boat had been on the water just about ten minutes before the passengers detected fumes and smoke and had to abandon ship.

All passengers jumped into the water, about a quarter of a mile from the boat landing. Chesterfield police said that the dive team pulled one person to shore. Walker confirmed that person died.

Two others were taken to area hospitals and treated for burn injuries.

Chesterfield police also said that one person from their dive team had to be hospitalized, but they would not tell us the extent of that person's injuries.

CBS 6 News spoke with one witness. She tells us she watched as the boat burst into flames, and could hear people screaming for help. She says her husband jumped into the water before emergency crews arrived to try and rescue the victims.

Stay with CBS 6 for the very latest on this developing story.