34 Missing After Fire Engulfs Dive Boat Off California Coast

The U.S. Coast Guard says 34 people are missing after a fire erupted aboard a dive boat off the coast of Southern California.

Local media are reporting that several people died in the fire, but the Coast Guard could not immediately confirm any fatalities.

Coast Guard officials said five crew members were rescued after the fire broke out on the 20-meter commercial dive boat near Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Santa Barbara.

They said are searching for other passengers who have not been accounted for.

Officials say the missing passengers were sleeping below desk when the fire broke out before dawn Monday morning.

An image posted by the fire department showed the dive vessel engulfed in flames. The Coast Guard says most of the fire has now been extinguished.

The boat was on a Labor Day weekend cruise taking divers to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California.

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