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Two Injured in Boat Explosion off Long Beach

August 15, 1993

A pleasure boat burst into flames Saturday afternoon in Long Beach Harbor, 300 to 400 hundred yards offshore from Ocean Boulevard and Lindero Avenue, leaving two people on board severely burned and two others shaken but not hurt.

Ophellia Muglia, 28, of La Puente and Jeanette Lopez, 38, of Torrance, were both hospitalized with second-degree burns. They were both in stable condition. The other two passengers were the boat's driver, Shelley Allsup, 22, and her sister, Myken, 24, both of Covina.

The spectacular explosion caught the attention not only of beach-goers but motorists on Ocean Boulevard who slowed down to watch as the 21-foot craft sent smoke billowing into the air.

"It went 'Boof!' " said Long Beach resident Rick Davis, who saw the explosion. "It happened fast."

The passengers were rescued by lifeguards. Two fireboats from the Long Beach Fire Department responded to the call.

The cause of the fire is not known. "In most cases these are gasoline or fuel leaks," said Justin Bartlow, Long Beach Fire Department battalion chief.

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