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13 people injured when 2 airboats collide at Wild Florida

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Thirteen people were injured Monday afternoon when two airboats collided at Wild Florida, the United States Coast Guard told Channel 9.

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The extent of their injuries is unknown.

The crash happened shortly before 12:15 p.m. on Cypress Lake in Osceola County.

Coast Guard officials there were two captains and 28 passengers aboard the airboats involved in the collision.

Osceola County Fire Rescue said two people were flown to HCA Florida Osceola Hospital, six people were taken there by ambulance, three people were taken by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital and 17 people declined treatment.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and St. Cloud Fire Rescue also responded to the crash scene.

The Coast Guard said that it will be tasked with investigating the crash as it involves commercial vessels.

Wild Florida is a drive-thru wildlife and safari park east of the Poinciana area.

The park sits on Cypress Lake and features airboat tours, alligator-handling shows and a petting zoo.

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Wild Florida provided Channel 9 with the following statement:

“Today at Wild Florida, two airboats collided while doing routine tours, resulting in passenger injuries. First, we would like to apologize to all visitors involved and pray for a speedy recovery for all injured parties.

We are cooperating fully with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local authorities as they conduct an official investigation of the incident. We are also conducting our own internal investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Wild Florida prides itself on not just having U.S. Coast Guard-approved airboats but also hiring licensed master captains who elevate our safety protocols.

We also want to extend our added gratitude to the many Wild Florida staff members and rescue teams from Osceola County EMS, St. Cloud Fire Rescue and the Osceola County Sheriff’s (Office) for their swift response.

At this time, all airboat activities at Wild Florida are suspended until further notice.”

See a map of the scene below:

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV in 2014.