Fire burns Sun Cruz Casino shuttle with 50 people aboard

Ebony Scott
January 16, 2018

At least one woman was killed after a casino shuttle boat went up in flames Sunday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida - forcing more than 50 passengers to jump overboard into the shallow water. The captain of the shuttle said he noticed engine trouble and saw flames coming from the engine room.

"What he did was he brought (the shuttle) closer to shore, actually nearly beaching the boat", DeCanio said of the captain's immediate actions, according to Tampa station WTSP.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says that there were 50 passengers on the ship when the fire broke out. Sadly, one woman succumbed to her injuries and died in the hospital.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire. Fifteen of them were treated at hospitals for minor injuries and as a precaution for hypothermia, police said.

The shuttle boat routinely carries people back and forth from the Tropical Breeze Casino cruise, which offers offshore gambling. "The fire was moving fast".

WPLG-TV reports the SunCruz Casino boat caught fire about 4 p.m. off the coast near Harborpointe Drive and Bay Boulevard, Doll said.

"I think this is the last of our trips on the casino boat", Darrell said.

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The fire department said that because the water wasn't deep, rescue workers were able to get to the victims much quicker.

A video posted on Twitter shows the boat engulfed in flames.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the fire and will look into the actions of all crew members and the condition of the boat to determine what caused the fire.

She tells us some even opening their homes and garages so they could stay warm, and bringing out food and hot drinks.

The 60-foot boat was headed to a Sun Cruz Casino boat, located three miles from the coast in global waters for legal gambling.

It was just 100 feet from the shore, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported. "They were so cold".

Other reports by GizPress

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