Some people have died and rescuers were searching for 34 more after a fire broke out aboard a dive boat off the Southern California Coast.
Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department confirmed some deaths to The Daily Beast but said he could not give an exact number.
Five crewmembers sleeping on the top deck of the 75-foot commercial scuba diving vessel were rescued, according to Lieutenant Commander Matthew Kroll of the US Coast Guard.
But he said 34 passengers who were sleeping below deck have not been accounted for.
#CoastInc: @VCFD responded to boat fire off the north side of Santa Cruz Island at approximately 3:28am. @USCG helping support rescue operations for people aboard a dive boat. #ChannelIslands @USCGLosAngeles @CountyVentura @SBCOUNTYFIRE pic.twitter.com/DwoPGfBjtA
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) September 2, 2019
One of the crew suffered minor injuries.
The Coast Guard has helicopters, small boats and a patrol cutter in the area for a search-and-rescue operation off of Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles from Los Angeles.
The Ventura County Fire Department said on Twitter that it responded to the fire around 3:30am.
A photo tweeted by the department showing a boat engulfed in flames.
It was not clear how many people were on the boat, but the Coast Guard earlier said that more than 30 people were “in distress”.