At least one American tourist has been confirm dead and ten people were reportedly injured after a tour boat exploded in the Bahamas, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The explosion occurred shortly after 9 a.m. on Saturday in waters off Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays, police said in a statement.
The 40-foot chartered tour boat was transporting ten tourists and two Bahamians when an engine exploded, engulfing the boat in flames.
Chester Cooper, a member of parliament for Exumas and Ragged Island, identified the person who died as an American woman.
“This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends. We are saddened and our hearts are hurting, but we will get through this together,” Cooper said.
Four Americans were airlifted to a hospital in Florida, Cooper said others were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in the Bahamian capital of Nassau for treatment, including the boat’s captain, who is also the owner of 4 C’s Adventures tour company. He was discharged from the hospital.
Video filmed from a nearby boat showed panicked tourists jumping into the shallow water in an attempt to rescue passengers in the burning boat. Thick, black smoke was pouring into the sky and large flames were still shooting from the disabled craft.
The cause of the explosion has not been determined yet but investigation is still ongoing by the Exuma branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to find the real cause of the incident.