One passenger died and three were seriously injured when a speedboat caught fire while en route to Saona, a popular island destination in the province of Altagracía. The accident, which took place last Wednesday, is currently under investigation by local authorities who are trying to determine the cause of the fire. The passengers were transporting food to the remote island when the incident took place. Despite rescue efforts by crew members, several occupants received serious burns, which eventually led to the death of one of the victims.
Sky Tours, the company that owns and operates the crafts, routinely transports tourists and locals between the country’s many islands. They also organize excursions to various island destinations around the Dominican Republic. The vessel in question, named Mila, was carrying several passengers when it suddenly caught fire. However, no tourists were on board at the time of the accident.
After the quick rescue operation by the crew members, the injured individuals were taken back to shore where they received medical assistance. One of the passengers was taken to the nearby Central Romana medical center for further assessment. Later on, he was transported to the Neil Arias Lora hospital in the capital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit as a result of the severity of his burns. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, the victim, in his early 30s, passed away on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the two remaining injured passengers are also being treated in the Central Romana hospital. They are expected to make a full recovery and their burns aren’t life-threatening.
According to local media reports, the speedboat’s crew members jumped into the sea when they sensed that something was wrong. In doing so, they were able to avoid injury, and thus able to help the remaining passengers. Unfortunately, several of the occupants sustained severe burns despite the crew members’ quick response.
Meanwhile, The Dominican Navy, together with other maritime officers, is working to determine the cause of the deadly accident. In a tweet published in the days after the fire, debris can be seen floating around the speedboat. The government is also worried about the safety of water transportation due to the number of similar events in recent weeks. Orlando Jorge Mera, minister for environment, said that authorities will take legal action after looking into the circumstances surrounding the sinking.
Ferry Carrying 30 Passengers Capsizes
In yet another tragic speedboat accident, a woman died this Sunday after the vessel carrying 33 passengers capsized while on its way to Saona, according to police reports. The craft was carrying Dominican tourists to the popular tourist destination when it capsized near the shore. Two other passengers also sustained injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital. However, authorities have given conflicting reports about passenger numbers as well as the cause of the capsizing. In any case, the fact that two non-related incidents took place within a week is a wake-up call for the area’s water transportation companies.
Bigger vessels frequently visit the Dominican Republic. Recently, a Russian megayacht was detained while it was docked at the capital, Santo Domingo. Authorities raided the boat to investigate its owner over potential involvement in illegal activity. However, the yacht was later free to continue its journey after officials failed to find conclusive evidence.
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