UPDATE (5/29 12:45 p.m.) — An investigation into a Saturday boat explosion near Seneca is underway, led by the Illinois Conservation Police.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), 17 people were aboard a boat on the Illinois River in LaSalle County. The boat had just finished fueling when the incident occurred, about 4:20 p.m.

Thirteen passengers and one Spring Brook Marina employee were transported to local hospitals after the explosion. One passenger was flown to a Chicago hospital with “critical injuries.”

The river is open, but IDNR cautions boaters driving near the scene since the sunken boat is still underwater. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency are at the scene to help with “recovery operations.”

The Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office are assisting with the investigation.


LASALLE COUNTY (WMBD) — Illinois State police said 13 people were transported to the hospital after a boat fire near Seneca, Saturday afternoon.

Police said the explosion happened at approximately 4:26 p.m at Spring Brook Marina in LaSalle County.

The Illinois State Police, Seneca Police and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police responded to the incident.

Officials said the boat had 17 occupants at the time and 13 of them were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. 

They said one individual from the boat was life flighted to an area hospital with serious injuries and one marina employee was also transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The IDNR Conservation Police is the lead agency in the investigation.