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Burned tugboat towed to Clayton

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A fire broke out on a U.S. tugboat on Lake Ontario early Tuesday, sending six people on board to hospitals, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Petty Officer George Degener, with the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, said one crew member suffered severe burns and was flown to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. The other five people were taken to nearby Kingston, Ontario, General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Their conditions were unknown, he said.

Initial reports indicated the fire started in the engine room of the Patrice McAllister, a 105-foot tug that was headed to a New York port from Toledo, Ohio, about 2 a.m. Tuesday in Canadian waters some seven miles south of Prince Edward Point, Mr. Degener said. The site of the fire is about 25 miles from Galloo Island.

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopters responded to the scene shortly thereafter and had extracted the crew by 6 a.m.

There were no reports of leaking petroleum products.

Clayton village Mayor Norma J. Zimmer said Tuesday afternoon that several local barges were sent to the scene to retrieve the tugboat.

Mr. Degener confirmed that the boat was being towed by a salvage company to the freight dock in Clayton, where the cause of the fire will be determined by the Coast Guard’s marine inspectors.

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