Heartbreaking New Details About The Boat Explosion That Killed One Woman And Injured 9 Others

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What Happened In The Bahama Boat Explosion? New Details Accident Killed One Woman And Left One Woman Without Her Legs
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One woman had to have her legs amputated.

A Chattanooga woman was killed Saturday when a boat exploded off the coast of the Bahamas. Nine others were injured, including a woman who lost both of her legs.

Chester Cooper, a member of parliament for Exumas and Ragged Island, identified the person who died as an American woman.

“This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends. We are saddened and our hearts are hurting, but we will get through this together,” Cooper said in a Facebook post.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a call from the Royal Bahamas Police Force “requesting assistance after boaters suffered from various injuries,” around 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

"An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew with two medical personnel from Air Station Clearwater was launched, landed in Exuma, and transported the boaters to the air station where emergency medical services awaited," the U.S. Coast Guard said.


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Maleka Jackson was celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary with her husband, Tyran Jackson, over the weekend when the 40-foot tour boat went up in flames. According to her father, Malvin Grimes. Tyran suffered burns but Maleka was killed by the explosion.

On the boat, which reportedly exploded at around 9 a.m. off the coast of Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays, were 10 Americans and two Bahamians.

Stefanie Schaffer, 22, was among the nine passengers who were injured and had to have both of her legs amputated as a result of her injuries, her brother, George Schaffer, told ABC News.

Her brother said Stefanie "had danced her whole childhood." She is currently in a medically induced coma with critical injuries at a Nassau hospital, he said.

George, along with several other family members, are on their way to Nassau to be by Stefanie's side.


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"Hang in there Stef I'm on my way," he wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Stefanie's mother, Shawna Bender, sister, Brooke Schaffer and stepfather, Paul Bender, were all injured when the boat caught fire. Shawna suffered internal injuries and multiple broken bones while Brooke and Paul sustained cuts and bruises, ABC News reports.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for traveling expenses for Stefanie's family as well as her transportation back to the States.

GoFundMe

We are raising funds for the medical and travel expenses," the page reads. "We know their expenses will far exceed this as this becomes a lifelong struggle for this family."

The original goal was to raise $50,000 but as the medical expenses grew, the family raised it to $100,000. The page has raised over $59,000 in just one day.

Funeral plans have not yet been arranged for Maleka Jackson.

A video filmed by an onlooker shows thick black smoke billowing from the boat as people cry and yell for help. As the boat was quickly engulfed in flames, passengers on a nearby boat jump in the shallow water to help those aboard the flaming charter boat.

The Exuma branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is investigating what caused the explosion, the U.S. Coast Guard said.


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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She has a degree in journalism and writes about all things news and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.

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