Witnesses have described the narrow escape for a couple with a baby who were on board a boat that exploded on the Hawkesbury River overnight, severely injuring eight people.
The 28-foot boat burst into flames at a marina off Dangar Road at Brooklyn just after 5pm on Sunday.
It is understood the boat had been refuelling at the time.
NSW Ambulance dispatched 12 crews along with a specialist medical team, a Toll Ambulance Rescue Helicopter and a Westpac Ambulance Rescue Helicopter.
Paramedics treated eight patients suffering burns and smoke inhalation, with six rushed to hospital.
Four patients were rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital under police escort and they are in a critical condition.
Two were transported to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition.
Witnesses said a number of young children got off the vessel just moments before it caught fire.
Dijana Hurdwell said a couple carrying their baby were incredibly lucky to have been at the front of the boat when it exploded at the vessel’s rear.
“The boat, it exploded and literally what we witnessed was … thank god the couple with the baby were at the front of the boat, the bow of the boat, because they were about to leave the marina,” she told 7 News.
“But the other adults on board had to literally dive out … it was a horrific scene.”
It is believed the four on board have suffered burns to 60 per cent of their bodies.
NSW Ambulance on Sunday confirmed four people were critically injured.
“NSW Ambulance along with other emergency services established a triage area to assess all of our patients,” NSW Ambulance inspector David Morris said in a statement on Sunday evening.
“Once the area was established, patients were reassessed by NSW Ambulance medical teams.
“NSW Police provided assistance in escorting these patients to various hospitals with medical teams awaiting their arrival.”