A Vermont woman was seriously injured when a tour boat she was on exploded in the Bahamas Saturday. Maleka Grimes Jackson, from Chattanooga, Tenn., was killed. Also among the injured was 22-year-old Stefanie Schaffer, a dancer and athlete who had both legs amputated after the blast, NBC News reports.
After Saturday's incident she remained in critical condition in an induced coma in Nassau, reports US-based ABC News.
Video posted online shows the boat engulfed by flamed and smoke after the blast. Royal Bahamas Police Force spokesperson Chanta Knowles confirmed the explosion happened on a boat carrying 12 people - 10 Americans and two Bahamians - shortly after 9 a.m. on Saturday. The others victims were being treated at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau.
Stefanie and Brooke Schaffer were on vacation with their mother and stepfather. Stefanie also requires surgery on her spine for an L1 lumbar disk fracture.
The deceased woman was identified as an American woman by Chester Cooper, a member of the parliament for Exumas and Ragged Island. Stacey Bender has broken bones and Brooke Schaffer and Paul Bender have cuts and bruises. Still, passengers in red life jackets waded through a translucent turquoise sea to rescue survivors from the burning boat.
"We used plywood and some 2-by-6s basically as gurneys to get the passengers to shore", Inman said.
Four of the injured Americans on the boat were immediately airlifted to a hospital in St Petersburg, Florida with the help of the US Coastguard after the explosion.
Authorities in the Bahamas are working to determine what caused the fire minutes into a day trip around the small islands near Great Exuma.