American Woman Dead After Tour Boat Explodes in Bahamas

Hannah Rogers
July 4, 2018

A Vermont woman was seriously injured when a tour boat she was on exploded in the Bahamas Saturday.

Maleka Jackson's father, Malvin Grimes, said she was a loving mother to her 12-year-old son and believed in giving back to her community.

The accident also left Stefanie Schaffer in a medically-induced coma with severe injuries, ABC News reported.

A GoFundMe page set up to help cover medical and travel expenses for the Schaffer family has raised over $100,000 within one day. It's not clear what caused the boat to burst into flames.

Video of the explosion's aftermath was shot by a passenger on another tour boat that came to the rescue.

Royal Bahamas Police Force Superintendent Shanta Knowles says officials from the country's police, fire and civil aviation departments were on the island of Great Exuma on Monday conducting an investigation into the explosion and fire.

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Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said the community is grieving. "It's just immoral that their lives should be in danger". His press secretary, Ms Sarah Sanders, described the incident as an attack on "innocent journalists".

They helped rush dancer Stefanie Schaffer, 22, to shore and then a hospital to be treated for her horrific injuries. One woman died. Several others were airlifted to Nassau and Miami for further treatment.

Among the injured was Stefanie Schaffer, 22, a dancer whose injuries necessitated a double leg amputation below the knee, ABC News reports. Luckily, Paul and Brooke minor injuries, including bruises and cuts.

Four of the injured people were moved to Clearwater, Fla., hospital by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Schaffer's brother, George, posted on Facebook about the incident. "This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends".

'We used plywood and some 2-by-6s basically as gurneys to get the passengers to shore, ' Inman said.

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