MANORHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The man killed in a fiery boat explosion on Long Island Wednesday has been identified as former Plandome Manor mayor Bob Hogan.
As TV 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, authorities lifted the sunken, charred wreckage of the boat piloted by the victim Thursday.
At the Manhasset Bay Marina, divers helped guide a crane to gently lift the remains of what was once a 33-foot boat. There was no sign of the cabin that exploded in flames as Hogan tried to gas up at a dockside pump.
The fireball that erupted was captured in a cell phone video.
“The boat was just engulfed in flames and a huge amount of smoke,” Debra Irizarry said, who is a surgeon and was coincidentally working nearby on her own boat.
She says right afterward, she saw dockworkers racing to help.
“I’m a physician. I ran down there to see if there was anybody that could be rescued. A body did come up to the dock,” Irizarry said.
Police said the 74-year-old was fatally burned over his entire body when gas fumes somehow ignited.
Local mariners say Hogan had piloted his boat in the marina for 30 years.
“Awesome guy, just a great guy, a bayman and ex-NYPD,” Matthew Meyrin, captain of the Port Washington Water Taxi, said.
Investigators are looking at faulty venting that could have led to the dramatic buildup of explosive gas fumes. They say they will need time to examine the burned out vessel to see if a mechanical failure could have led to the inferno.
Irizarry says boaters need to constantly check gas vents.
“It was pretty surreal. It was like I thought I was in Baghdad for a moment. You don’t expect to see this happen on a nice day at the marina,” she said.
A dockworker also suffered burns in the accident but is in stable condition.
On Wednesday night, police said a homicide squad was investigating the incident.
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