Bodies of 25 found in the California scuba boat fire
Divers have found a total of 25 bodies on Monday after a pre-dawn fire sank a scuba diving vessel off a Southern California island, leaving nine people unaccounted for as the search continued, media reported.
SCUBA TANKS MAY HAVE CAUSED THE FIRE
The Santa Barbara sheriff had earlier confirmed eight people had died after a fire broke out aboard the Conception, a 23-metre boat, at about 3.15 a.m. (10:15 GMT) on Monday while it was moored just off the shore of Santa Cruz Island.
The Conception had embarked for California’s Channel Islands on Saturday morning with 39 people on board. Five crew members who were above deck on the bridge escaped the fire as passengers slept in the ship’s lower quarters.
The surviving crew members sought refuge on a fishing boat moored a few hundred feet away, banging on the side to wake up Bob Hansen and his wife, who were sleeping onboard.
“When we looked out, the other boat was totally engulfed in flames, from stem to stern,” Hansen said in an interview with the New York Times. “There were these explosions every few beats. You can’t prepare yourself for that. It was horrendous.”
Scuba or propane tanks on the Conception may have exploded in the fire, but that had not been confirmed, Brown said, adding it was unclear if there was an initial explosion that caused the fire.