Dozens escape casino shuttle boat off Florida's Gulf coast - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dozens escape casino shuttle boat off Florida's Gulf coast

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say dozens of passengers and crew are safe after a casino shuttle boat was consumed by a huge fire while making a regular run to a casino ship off the Florida Gulf Coast.

Fire officials and witnesses say people leaped into chilly waters and reached shore in Port Richey in the greater Tampa Bay area after the fire Sunday afternoon.

Authorities say 15 people with chest pain, smoke inhalation and other minor injuries were taken to the hospital to be checked.

The shuttle boat routinely carried people back and forth from the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise, which is offshore because it can't legally operate close to land, according to authorities. The company didn't immediately respond to messages left seeking comment.

A cause wasn't immediately clear.

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