Woman dies after casino boat fire in Florida

Toni Houston
January 16, 2018

A casino boat has reportedly caught fire near the Gulf of Mexico in Port Richey, Florida, according to WFLA-TV. "He noticed the fire coming out of the engine room, so he literally nearly ran the boat aground to the shoreline".

Horrified witnesses on shore in nearby homes watched as passengers jumped off the boat.

Rescue crews initially reported everyone made it to shore, but now say one person is unaccounted for.

The woman died late Sunday hours after the fire began, while 14 other people were injured, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover said on Monday. Cause of death is still undetermined. "The fire was moving fast".

Dramatic video posted to social media shows some passengers plunging into the cold water as flames consumed the vessel.

By early Sunday evening, all passengers had been accounted for and Port Richey Police Chief Gerard DeCanio said no one was seriously hurt. "It was a hard jump". Some swam to shore, while others were pulled from the water, according to Spectrum Bay News 9.

After the boat caught fire, the captain beached it about 100 feet from the shore.

There were no serious injuries in that incident but one crew member landed in the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Local resident Larry Santangelo, 57, told the Tampa Bay Times: 'It was so windy and they were soaking wet.

"They were absolutely frigid when they got out of there", Fossa said. "The whole neighborhood [was] communicating and going back to our houses to get whatever they need like water or clothes like socks". "They were so cold".

In 2004, the NTSB investigated a fire aboard another Port Richey casino shuttle owned by Suncruz called the Express Shuttle II.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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