The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Port Huron Times-Herald (Port Huron, MI), Dec 1968

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Board Of Inquiry Convenes In Tug Blast Fatal To One

St. Clair (UPI) - A marine inspection team from the Coast Guard assisted Army Engineers Friday in the investigation of a tug boat explosion that killed one crewman and injured three others.

The Army Engineers convened a board of inquiry to find out why the tug exploded and burned in the St. Clair River Thursday while returning to the Detroit Boat Yard. The tug had been checking navigation conditions in the river, which links Lake Huron with Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie.

Funeral services were scheduled at Calumet in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Monday for Melvin Kappila, 39, Marine City, who was killed by the blast.

The three survivors were described in fair condition in River District Hospital here. Willis Dibble, 22, Marine City, and Herman Cole, 53, and Willis Cross, 46, both of Algonac, suffered second and third degree burns.

The 45-foot tug ANCHOR BAY was moored at the St. Clair Flats Coast Guard Station on Harsens Island. The Coast Guard Cutter BRAMBLE had put out the fire and kept the vessel afloat.

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Dec 1968
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Ray Grant
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Port Huron Times-Herald (Port Huron, MI), Dec 1968