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Colorado Woman Dead, 4 Injured In House Boat Explosion

SALT LAKE CITY (CBS4/AP) — A Colorado woman is dead and four other people are critically injured after a nighttime explosion on a houseboat along the Utah-Arizona border.

A generator exploded about 10 p.m. Wednesday as a large group that included about 20 other people vacationed on a privately owned boat on Lake Powell.

Lake Powell scenic (from Nat'l Park Service, in today's release)
Lake Powell (credit: National Park Service)

A 52-year-old woman was killed and four other people were flown to hospitals in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Salt Lake City in critical condition, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area spokeswoman Mary Plumb said.

Lake Powell Boat Explosion 2 (boat, from co-owner Wendy Mills via KUTV)
(credit: Wendy Mills)

The victim has been identified as Kirsten Meyer of Castle Rock.

Kirsten Meyer 3 (UNCONFIRMED victim, Lake Powell Boat Explosion, from her FB)
Kirsten Meyer (credit: Facebook)

Friends and family members of Meyer are still in shock.

"We have comfort in saying that she died doing something she enjoyed," said Ferd Meyer, Kirsten's father.

Ferd Meyer
Ferd Meyer (credit: Meyer Family)

He lives in Parachute and talked to CBS4 over the phone.

"[Kirsten] was a wonderful girl. She was very, very athletic," Ferd said.

He says Kirsten loved her summer trips to Utah, and was an experienced house boater.

Lake Powell Boat Explosion 3 (boat, from co-owner Wendy Mills via KUTV)
(credit: Wendy Mills)

"My daughter was probably the one who turned [the generator] on," Ferd told CBS4's Andrea Flores. "I don't know if it was a gas generator, or a propane generator. If it was a propane generator, those tanks are under pressure."

A group shares ownership of the houseboat named "Summer Paradise."

Lake Powell scenic (from Nat'l Park Service, in today's release)
Lake Powell (credit: National Park Service)

The injured suffered broken bones, burns and facial injuries. They have not been identified.

Someone was trying to start the generator in the Crystal Springs Canyon area when it suddenly exploded, Sheriff Rick Eldredge of San Juan County, Utah, said in a statement.

Lake Powell Boat Explosion 4 (boat, from co-owner Wendy Mills via KUTV)
(credit: Wendy Mills)

The boat was anchored on shore in the area without road access, Plumb said.

The National Park Service and sheriff's office are investigating.

Kirsten Meyer4
Kirsten Meyer (credit: Facebook)

"They said that it sent people flying through the glass doors," said Wendy Mills, who shares the boat.

Mills says her family was planning to take the boat out this weekend.

"I've just been sick about it because it could have been us on that boat, and I'm sick for the family that it happened to," Mills said.

The man-made Lake Powell is one of the largest reservoirs in the U.S. and is a popular destination for recreation. At nearly 200 miles (322 kilometers) long and with more than 1,900 miles (3,058 kilometers) of shoreline and nearly 100 major side canyons, it attracted more than 3 million visitors last year.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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