Kentucky towboat explosion victim feels blessed to be alive

Published: Jan. 20, 2018 at 10:22 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2018 at 11:03 AM CST
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(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)
(Source: Tyler Wedeking)

(KFVS) - A man speaks out after he survived and saved two others after an explosion on a boat that killed 3 people and injured 6.

Tyler Wedeking was on the "William E. Strait" on Friday, January 19 when an explosion occurred on the towboat.

As the explosion happened, he was directly impacted by the blast and watched his two family members go down with injuries as well. Wedeking then helped his two loved ones get to safety.

Wedeking was rushed to Paducah, where he received treatment for 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.

"Man, it happened so fast it was like survival at the moment," said Wedeking. "I wanted to make sure that me and my crew and everybody were good and that was about it. I knew we had to get off the boat and we all were hurting."

Wedeking also described what it was like in the aftermath of the explosion.

"I saw my cousin James laying on the ground," said "Wedeking "He has some stuff on him so I got it off of him and I could tell he broke his leg. Then we propped his head up and everything else and I looked over and saw Jim laying in some scaffolding, so I went over there and helped him as much as I could too. And the boat was still on fire."

Wedeking said he and his injured coworkers will pull through this incident and get back to some normalcy.

"I'm 150% blessed just sitting and talking to you here right now because of where we were standing, Wedeking added. "If we would have been back to work and laving the engine room and everything else out, preparing for metal, we would have been hurt!"

Officials are working to learn the cause of the boat's explosion.

Investigators are not currently suspecting foul play in the towboat's explosion.

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