Natasha Kaplinsky's daughter, eight, was peering into family boat's engine room when fireball blasted her in the face due to faulty fuel pump in Corfu

  • Angelica Kaplinsky, 8, suffered burns when a boat caught fire off Corfu 
  • Investigators claimed a faulty fuel pump was responsible for the flash fire  
  • Angelica took the full brunt of the blast as she looked into the engine room
  • Despite injuring three people, the boat only suffered around €200 of damage 

A faulty fuel pump is being blamed for a 'fireball explosion' aboard a yacht that left the eight year old daughter of TV newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky with severe burns. 

The youngster took the full brunt of the blast as she stood on the deck and peered down into the engine room, according to an official involved in the investigation. 

Ms Kaplinsky, 45, and another family member believed to be the girl's grandfather also suffered minor injuries. 

Natasha Kaplinsky, pictured with her daughter Angelica, were both injured after a fireball erupted on their boat off the coast of Corfu

Natasha Kaplinsky, pictured with her daughter Angelica, were both injured after a fireball erupted on their boat off the coast of Corfu

Ms Kaplinsky, left, and her husband Justin Bower were on a family holiday to the Greek island

Ms Kaplinsky, left, and her husband Justin Bower were on a family holiday to the Greek island

Investigators said the yacht, which is based in Kouloura harbour, Corfu, suffered minor damage when a faulty fuel pump ignited petrol, injuring the eight-year-old girl

Investigators said the yacht, which is based in Kouloura harbour, Corfu, suffered minor damage when a faulty fuel pump ignited petrol, injuring the eight-year-old girl

The accident happened as the family group cruised off the island of Corfu on their luxury yacht Plumbago Go. 

The burns suffered by the Angelica Kaplinsky were thought so serious she was airlifted back to the UK for medical treatment. 

Investigators in Corfu are still probing the small explosion aboard the yacht earlier this month but believe a faulty fuel pump is to blame. 

'The young girl was on the deck looking into the engine room,' said an official with knowledge of the investigation. 'She bore the brunt of the blast.' 

The yacht was about three miles from shore when it was rocked by the blast 

The yacht was about three miles from shore when it was rocked by the blast 

Natasha is believed to own a five-bed mansion called Plumbago (pictured) with the boat also named after it and called Plumbago Go

Natasha is believed to own a five-bed mansion called Plumbago (pictured) with the boat also named after it and called Plumbago Go

The yacht was three miles from Corfu harbor when it was rocked by the blast. 

Authorities said another family member raced out to the stricken boat and towed them back to the port. It was thought a local fisherman was involved but port authorities disputed this. 

While the three family members suffered injuries the fire was minor and caused less than £200 worth of damage to the yacht. 

'The fire that broke out was not a big one,' said the official. 

The boat sustained no major damage 'no more than 200 Euros of touch up is required.'

It is thought the eight year old was engulfed by flames when leaking petrol was ignited by the hot engine. 

The fireball would be similar to that when petrol is poured on a BBQ and a erupts as highly flammable fumes ignite. 

After being towed to shore, Angelica was taken to hospital in Corfu Town before being flown back to the UK for treatment. She is understood to have burns to her face and hands. 

Natasha and the other relative were treated at a private clinic on the Greek island. Natasha's husband Justin Bower, 45, and their son Arlo, nine, as well as two other relatives were on board the yacht when the incident took place. All the family members returned to the UK on the private jet. 

Natasha, who won the first series of Strictly in 2004, owns a five bedroom mansion on the island and is a regular visitor. 

A spokesman for Kaplinsky declined to comment. 

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