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Three people were lucky to survive mostly unscathed after their recently-purchased boat caught fire on the Fraser River on Sunday afternoon.

In a prepared statement, Vancouver Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Addison said the VPD Marine Unit was called at 3 p.m. with a report that a boat carrying three people in the Fraser River had exploded.

He said the boat was launched on the north bank of the north arm of the river on Musqueam First Nation lands.

“Three people on board – two men in their 40s and a teenager – avoided serious injury by jumping overboard and hanging on to the side of the boat,” Addison said.

“Based on the initial investigation, it appears the owners recently purchased the 20-foot aluminum jet boat and were taking it for a test drive in the river when a fire started near the fuel tank, which had recently been replaced. It’s believed the fire led to the explosion.

“The boaters were not able to don life jackets before jumping overboard, however they did push the boat to shallow water as it burned. One person was treated for a minor injury.”

Addison said there was no significant environmental damage.

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