As RadarOnline.com has unfortunately learned from WFLA-TV reports, the Sun Cruz Casino boat shuttle caught in flames while ailing through the Port Richey Canal. Fifty passengers were on board and were forced to jump off, into the Gulf of Mexico, to save themselves.
A woman who suffered serious injuries was released from the hospital after receiving treatment. She passed away in her home, hours later. Fourteen other people were hospitalized, and eight of them have already been released.
According to CBS News, the fire occurred at around 4:00pm, when the boat was 100 feet offshore. The captain sailed as close to the land as he could once the flames started burning. Passengers were able to swim to shore before being received by emergency crews.
The tragic incident came on one of the coldest days of the year, for Tampa. The water temperature was as low as 59 degrees – cold enough to cause hypothermia! Luckily, nurses were able to rescue the passengers almost immediately, while locals offered them warm clothes and towels.
The cause of the casino boat fire is still unknown.
Stay with Radar for updates.
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