2 boys face long, painful recovery after suffering burns on Castles N' Coasters bumper boat ride

It's the valley's biggest amusement park -- a place where thousands of children have had fun for decades, but the Castles N' Coasters park near Interstate 17 and Dunlap was the scene of a serious incident.

This was a very scary situation for two boys and their parents on Friday night. Something went wrong on the bumper boat the children were in, causing it to catch fire.  Both children made it out, but not without serious burns to their legs and feet.

Now the family says they want more safety inspections on those boats to keep this from happening again.

"..I could see the boat was like a big bonfire.. flames about eight feet tall," said the boys' father, Skeeter Wingler.

The bumper boat the boys were in stalled.  A worker tried restarting it and on the third pull, the tank exploded into a ball of fire.

The gas tank explosion left both boys with second-degree burns to their legs.

12-year-old Lucas was able to jump into the water, but 4-year-old Jayden had to be pulled from the bumper boat by a park worker.

Both boys were transported to the Maricopa County Burn Center unit to be treated for their injuries, but they're facing a long, painful recovery.

"The doctors say it could take close to a year before they fully heal," said Skeeter.

"It's very hard.. very hard.. it's hard to see them in pain.. it really is," said the boys' mother, Wendy King.  "Because as a mom, you can't do anything about it. You can't take their pain away. And if you could take it for them, you would.  Any mom would know that."

The boys' family is hoping something is done to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

As for little Jayden, it's not just physical scars he's having to deal with.  Hopefully, he'll want to get out on the boats again someday.

The boys need to have their bandages changed and burns cleaned twice a day, which their parents say is an extremely painful procedure.

FOX 10 asked Castles N' Coasters for a comment and on Tuesday, the park's management released this statement:

"We at Castles N' Coasters are devastated by this unfortunate incident, and our sincere condolences go out to these young boys and their family.

We have offered family fun at our parks for over 50 years and this is the first incident of this nature that we have encountered. We want everyone who comes to Castles N' Coasters to enjoy a safe and fun experience.

We have an impeccable safety record, one of the best in the industry. We hold regularly scheduled safety meetings on all of our rides which are meticulously inspected on a daily basis before the public is allowed to participate on any ride.

We are thoroughly investigating with the manufacturers the cause of this unfortunate accident and express our sincere sorrow that a ride at our park caused harm to our guests. We feel horrible that this happened."

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