(WBIR - Sevier County) No one was hurt after an explosion on a boat Sunday afternoon in Sevier County, according to TWRA.
Officials told 10News the incident happened around 3:30 p.m. on Douglas Lake in front of the TVA free launch. A group consisting of two adults and three young teens were on board.
According to TWRA, the group had just put gas into the boat and launched it from the ramp into the water. They got about halfway out to the no-wake buoys when someone smelled gas. There was then an explosion at the back of the boat near the engine and it caught fire.
The adults then tossed the three teens, who were wearing life jackets, overboard into the water.
The adult passengers jumped into the water as well. A nearby boat picked up the group and brought them all back to shore. None of the boat passengers were injured.
TWRA let the boat continue to burn because none of the emergency crews had a boat with a water pumper on it that could put the fire out.
The boat sank around 4:40 p.m. Sunday.
TWRA said its possible a gas leak caused the explosion.
A viewer sent in a photo which showed heavy smoke spewing from the boat.
Dispatch said the rescue squad is on the water working to keep other boats away from the scene.
Memorial Day weekend is considered by many to be the real beginning of lake season. On Saturday, 10News followed an officer patrolling Norris Lake.
In Tennessee, most boats are required to carry a fire extinguisher, and enough life jackets for each person on board.
TWRA said this incident shows that life jackets help save lives. Boaters are also encouraged to turn on the ventilation system before running a boat.