Coast Guard investigating fatal casino boat fire
TAMPA, Fla. -The Coast Guard says it is investigating a casino shuttle boat fire off Florida's Gulf Coast that led to the death of a female passenger.
Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse said Monday that investigators will determine a cause for Sunday night's fire and will examine the history of the boat and the company, Tropical Breeze Casino.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover said Monday that the passenger died late Sunday, hours after the 4 p.m. fire. He said she had arrived at the hospital less than an hour earlier after becoming ill. Her name has not been released and a cause of death has not been determined. Officials originally had said no injuries were life threatening. Fifteen passengers had experienced chest pain, smoke inhalation and other injuries.
The shuttle boat routinely carries people back and forth from the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise, which is offshore because it can't legally operate close to land, according to authorities. The company said it might have a statement later Monday.