Report: Boat victims died of smoke inhalation

National News

September 6, 2019 - 11:58 PM

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Dozens of people trapped on a scuba diving boat that caught fire off the Southern California coast appear to have died from smoke inhalation, not burns, authorities said Friday.

“The indicators are from the preliminary examination of the bodies that the victims died prior to being burned,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. “The burn damage to the victims was post-mortem.”

More than half the 34 people killed as they slept in bunks below deck early Monday have been positively identified through DNA, and their family members around the world are being notified, Brown told reporters. Divers are searching for the one body that still has not been found.

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