3 dead, including child, following boat incident on Lake Erie; Coast Guard says alarm system for dangerous gases went off

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Editor’s note: The victims’ ages have been updated by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office as 76, 45, and 11 years old.

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland police are investigating after three people, including a child, died after a boat was reportedly seen driving around Lake Erie erratically.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call about a boat circling near the water intake off Cleveland downtown around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Coast Guard crews found three unresponsive individuals aboard the vessel. Officials say they broke a window and put the boat in neutral. At this point, the point alarm system for dangerous gases went off on the Coast Guard boat.

Crew members then towed the boat to the 9th Street Pier.

The Coast Guard says EMS was waiting at the pier to treat the unresponsive victims upon arrival. According to Cleveland police, officers, firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene around 7:30 p.m.

Two men, ages 76 and 45, were pronounced dead on the scene, police confirmed. An 11-year-old boy, who was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center for his injuries, was later pronounced deceased.

Witnesses told FOX 8’s Suzanne Stratford they smelled a strong odor of fuel in the air.

According to Cleveland police, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death.

Cleveland police, along with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will be investigating this incident.

FOX 8 will provide more information as it becomes available.

Editor’s Note: EMS initially told FOX 8 that one of the victims was 80 years old. Police later said the deceased is 75. This story has been updated to reflect that information.

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