Two Hurt, One Missing After Florida Yacht Blast


Firefighters said two people were injured and a third person is unaccounted for after a yacht exploded at a Delray Beach marina.

The explosion occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Harbor Club, firefighters said.

Fire crews said they arrived to find a 30-foot boat engulfed in flames.

Witnesses told WPBF 25 News they saw people fueling the yacht -- named the Quarterdeck -- and then moments later heard a loud explosion and saw the flames.

A portion of the dock also caught fire. Firefighters said they were able to douse the flames at the fueling station with help from Boca Raton Fire Rescue's boat.

Firefighters said they were able to pull the boat away from the fuel station with the assistance of another boat.

Two people were taken to a hospital and witnesses said they saw a third person jump into the water.

Investigators said they believe the third man was below deck at the time of the fire.

State officials later identified the victims as 70-year-old Paul Romanelli, of East Hartford, Conn., and 74-year-old William Ryan, of Highland Beach, Fla.

Investigators said Ryan was the boat's owner.

Officials said Romanelli's brother, 67-year-old Robert Romanelli, of Orange Park, Fla., is the man who disappeared in the fire. Ryan is the Romanelli brothers' cousin.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion.

Officials said the boat will remain at the scene until it can be moved to a secure location for examination.

Detectives said the investigation into the cause of the fire has been turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission along with the Florida State Fire Marshal.

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