Flames engulf casino cruise in Port Richey

A casino boat went up in flames Sunday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida, with 50 passengers on board - and more than a dozen were rushed to the hospital, according to reports.

He said the shuttle boat's crew detected engine problems and chose to turn back.

Authorities were sent to around 4:17 p.m. Sunday just offshore Harbor Point near Bay Boulevard as the shuttle filled with passengers being taken to the Tropical Breeze casino boat became engulfed.

Pasco County marine patrol and helicopter along with the Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission assisted in the rescue operation.

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Fifteen passengers lamenting about chest pain, smoke intake, and the rest small injuries were transported to the hospital to be examined, authorities said, appending that the injuries were minor and not at all hazardous to life. There's no word yet on the cause of the fire. Everyone on board jumped off the boat and into the water. Some passengers had to be rescued from the water.

Jandali said passengers had to leap about 12 feet (3 meters) and wade through somewhat shallow water.

The boat was near shore when it was experiencing engine problems, Port Richey Chief of Police Gerard DeCanio said.

"We drag them to the shoreline and then there was neighbors that would be able to help them up out of the water, there was some seniors that were having some difficulty, there was a couple seniors that were face down in the water when we first arrived on scene", Officer Zimmerman said.

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A casino shuttle boat caught fire on Sunday in a waterway off the west coast of Florida, leaving one person dead and 14 others injured.

We're still working to find out what caused this boat fire.

The shuttle ferries passengers to and from the actual Tropical Breeze casino boat, which is anchored in the Gulf of Mexico three miles off the coast in global waters, officials said.

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