1 dead, 9 others injured after boat explodes in the Bahamas

04 July, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • A tour boat carrying 10 Americans and two Bahamians exploded off the island of Exuma on Saturday. Four of the injured Americans were airlifted to Florida by the US Coastguard

Police are still working to determine what went wrong when a boat carrying 10 USA tourists exploded in the Bahamas on Saturday.

Maleka Grimes Jackson, 39, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was on the vacation to celebrate her anniversary with her husband, Tiran, was killed in the blaze on Saturday.

Multiple members of an American family were also on the boat, and one, a 22-year-old woman named Stefanie Schaffer, lost both legs and is still hospitalized with severe wounds. She's now in a medically induced coma in critical condition; her mother was also severely injured.

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"On Saturday June 30th the family joined a boat tour to enjoy the sights off the island of Exuma, located about 130 miles (209 kilometres) south of Nassau", read a plea from a Go Fund Me page set up to help the family. A passenger aboard a nearby boat captured the chaos on his cell phone as others helped pull people from the burning vessel.

The explosion occurred shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday in waters off Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays, police said in a statement. EMS Air Ambulance flew others for medical care at Nassau's Princess Margaret Hospital. Investigators are looking for the cause of the blast.

Stephanie's sister, Brooke, suffered minor injuries, Brian said, while the girls' mother sustained some broken bones and "we believe some internal bleeding, as well", he added.

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Some passengers aboard the nearby boat were anxious that their vessel could also catch fire if they got too close.

The passengers on the boat were not identified, but the superintendent of the Royal Bahamas Police Force told NBC News that an American woman was killed in the explosion.

"Her legs, below her knees, had to be amputated", Stefanie's uncle, Mike Schaffer said.

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"We are shocked and saddened to hear the news that senior Stefanie Schaffer and her family were involved in such a tragic accident", the university wrote on Facebook.

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