Woman dead, nine injured in boat blast
AN AMERICAN woman was killed and nine other people were injured when a tour boat exploded in the Bahamas, officials said.
According to the NY Post, the watercraft was carrying 12 passengers - 10 American tourists and two Bahamians - off the Exumas islands Saturday when there was an explosion aboard and the boat burst into flames, according to the US Coast Guard and local reports.
Video shows the small, white boat completely ablaze, with plumes of black smoke emanating from it.
The video, posted on YouTube and taken from a neighbouring vessel, shows swimsuit-clad vacationers panicking and crying as they helplessly watch the roaring flames.
Two people can be seen wading in the waters toward the inferno in an apparent attempt to help.
American Stefanie Schaffer, a talented dancer, sustained life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition after a double amputation, her family said.
Stefanie's sister, Brooke, also suffered broken bones and internal injuries, while their mother and stepfather, Stacey and Paul Bender, suffered cuts and bruises.
"On Saturday June 30th the family joined a boat tour to enjoy the sights off the island of Exuma, located about 130 miles south of Nassau," read a plea from a Go Fund Me page set up to help the family.
"The boat bursts into flames shortly after 9am."
The woman who died and five other tourists injured in the explosion were not identified, WPLG in Florida reported.
Two people escaped unscathed.
"This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends," Chester Cooper, an Exumas and Ragged Island Parliament member, said in a statement on Facebook.