Woman dies after casino boat fire in Florida

8 others treated at hospital released

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. - A passenger on a casino shuttle boat that was consumed by a huge fire off Florida's Gulf Coast has died.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover said Monday that the woman died late Sunday, hours after the fire. He said she had arrived less than an hour earlier after becoming ill. 

Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said deputies were called to the hospital about 1 a.m. in reference to the 42-year-old woman's death.

Authorities initially said none of the injuries to 15 people were life-threatening. Passengers had experienced chest pain, smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

Doll said there were 50 people on board at the time of the fire. Rescuers and witnesses said people leaped into the chilly water and reached shore in Port Richey.

The woman's cause of death or information about her injuries weren't immediately known.

Conover said eight other people treated at the hospital have been released.

The shuttle boat routinely carries people back and forth from the Tropical Breeze Casino cruise, which offers offshore gambling. The company didn't immediately respond to messages left seeking comment.

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