A fire has broken out on a casino shuttle boat just off the coast of Florida, forcing the 50 people on board to jump into the Gulf of Mexico and swim to the shore, officials say. A number of people are being treated for injuries.
The incident began just after 4 p.m. ET on Sunday when emergency services were called to a fire on a vessel that takes people to and from the SunCruz Port Richey Casino boat. The shuttle was about 100 yards (91 meters) off Harbor Point in Port Richey, or 26 miles (42 kilometers) northwest of Tampa.
Kevin Doll, a spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, said about 50 people were on board the vessel when the fire broke out. “All passengers were able to make it to shore where EMS treated them,” he said, providing no further details about the number of injuries.
There was no immediate word on the possible cause of Sunday’s fire, which destroyed much of the shuttle. The SunCruz Port Richey Casino boat, which did not catch fire, has nearly 100 slot machines and many table games, according to its page on TripAdvisor. It also has 2 bars.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Pasco County Fire Rescue, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are among the agencies responding to the incident.
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