[ 06-09-2019 - 13:29:14 ]
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The crew of a dive ship that caught fire and sank off the California coast told a "harrowing story" of their failed attempts to save 34 people trapped below deck in a bunk room already engulfed in flames, investigators said on Thursday (Sept 5).
The five surviving crew members of the Conception, who were above deck when the blaze was discovered, said the already fierce flames prevented them from climbing down a narrow ladder into the bunk room or gaining access through a window.
"What's emerging... is a harrowing story of the moments (after) the fire erupted on the vessel," National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy told reporters at what she said would be the NTSB's final news conference in Santa Barbara, California.
The 23m Conception caught fire at about 3.15am local time on Monday while anchored off Santa Cruz Island.
Thirty three passengers and a crew member are feared to have died in one of California's worst maritime disasters. None of the names of the dead, who ranged in age from 17 to 60, have been publicly released by the authorities.
Two Singaporeans -바카라사이트 Ms Tan Wei, a 26-year-old postgraduate student from University of California, Berkeley, and 46-year-old researcher Sunil Singh Sandhu - however, are believed to have died in the fire. Both of their names had been listed on the passenger manifest of the boat.
Those said to be among the victims were a family of five, a teacher and his daughter, and a diving instructor and marine biologist.