Hydroplane driver narrowly escapes fiery death (VIDEO)

(KIRO/CBS) Dramatic video shows a fiery explosion on a hydroplane as the driver narrowly escapes.

Local Unlimited Lights driver Kayleigh Perkins was testing the UL-72 on Lake Washington in Seattle, Wash., when a fire broke out.

Perkins was unaware that her life was in danger until her husband yelled into her radio.

She looked in the rear view mirror and knew she had seconds to get out.

The damage to the hydroplane is nearly total, but Perkins and her team will salvage what they can.

They'll have to rebuild the expensive watercraft's motor and the carbon fiber hull.

KIRO reports that the rescue team that responded to the fire is a new addition to the safety features of the hydroplane racing class.

If this accident happened last year, the damage and injuries could have been much worse.

It is not yet known what caused the explosion, but Perkins' crew believes the flames were ignited by a small fuel leak.