One Dead As Passengers Swim For Their Lives From Casino Shuttle Boat Blaze
Dozens leaped into the Gulf of Mexico after the boat caught fire Sunday.
A fire that broke out aboard a Florida casino boat shuttle claimed one life after dozens leaped over board and into the Gulf of Mexico.
The 42-year-old woman was one of about 50 passengers and crew who were forced to jump into the chilly waters on Sunday afternoon.
The boat was shuttling people to and from the offshore Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise when it was engulfed in flames.
According to authorities, fifteen people complained of chest pain, smoke inhalation and other minor injuries and were taken to the hospital to be checked.
Port Richey Police said the female passenger died later that evening after experiencing "symptoms," according to local reports.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover told the Associated Press on Monday that the woman died late Sunday shortly after she arrived at the hospital’s emergency room at 10 p.m.
Conover said the victim had apparently gone home after the fire but became ill.
A cause of death is being determined. Her name has not been released.
Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise spokeswoman and assistant chief executive Beth Fifer said that the company "was deeply saddened" by the woman's death.
She added that the boat involved had no known issues prior to the fire. It had been inspected by the Coast Guard, she said.
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