(NY DAILY NEWS) – A casino ship went up in flames Sunday, forcing dozens of passengers to jump overboard off the coast of Florida, authorities said.
About 50 passengers were on board the Sun Cruz casino boat when a fire broke out at around 4:20 p.m. as the ship was near Tampa’s bay, WTSP-TV reported. All the passengers made it to safety.
Some panicked passengers jumped ship and swam to shore before rescue crews arrived, Pasco County fire officials said.
About 15 people were taken to hospitals after complaining about smoke inhalation and chest pains, officials said. There were nonlife-threatening injuries.
The boat was close to shore when it experienced engine problems, Port Richey Chief of Police Gerard DeCanio said. It wasn’t clear what started the fire.