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One dead, 50 others forced to jump into water as casino shuttle boat catches fire off Florida coast


One woman is dead and fourteen others are injured after a casino shuttle boat caught fire off the western coast of Florida.

The shuttle was engulfed in flames only 100 yards offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, with the traumatic event taking place around 4PM on Sunday.

Authorities watched from the shore as maritime rescue vessels took to the shallow waters to attempt and rescue several passengers, all of whom found themselves forced to ditch into the Gulf.

57-year-old Larry Santangelo described the fire as large enough to be mistaken for a house fire and saw survivors coming ashore.

“It was so windy and they were soaking wet,” he said, adding that he brought about 30 passengers into his garage to warm up

According to Fox News, the fire spread so quickly that passengers had no choice but to abandon ship.

The US Coast Guard reported that all passengers “aboard the Island Breeze during the boat fire are accounted for and ashore. “

The casino’s representatives declined to comment on the matter.

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