Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Sheriff: Casino Shuttle Boat Ablaze, All 50 Passengers Safe

Sheriff: Casino Shuttle Boat Ablaze, All 50 Passengers Safe

A fire aboard a casino shuttle boat off Florida's west coast has left one passenger dead and more than a dozen others injured, authorities said.

Port Richey residents watched people jump around 12 feet down into waist-deep water and wade to shore. They said the boat captain realized there was engine trouble early on and turned back.

"The captain fortunately got the boat to shore, he ran it aground, which is great, and they directed all of us to jump from the front of the boat off the bow", Darrell said.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies are assisting Fire Rescue and the Coast Guard.

One woman died late on Sunday shortly after arriving at the hospital emergency room. The 42-year-old woman had gone home after the fire, but she got sick later that day. Only 15 were taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, including chest pain and smoke inhalation. "The fire was moving fast".

A casino company said Monday it never had a problem with the shuttle boat that erupted in flames off Florida's Gulf Coast, leading to the death of a female passenger.

Authorities responded to the scene around 4:00 p.m. after receiving a call the San Cruz casino boat caught fire, WTSP reported.

Officials originally had said no injuries were life threatening.

As it was engulfed in flames the vessel was floating just offshore near Harbor Point, near Bay Blvd in Port Richey.

"It was so windy, and they were soaking wet", Santangelo told the newspaper.

"It was really hard to watch but we were glad they were close to shore and our whole neighborhood came together to pass blankets and whatever care they needed", Bakr Jandali of Port Richey told CNN.

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