Smoke killed divers

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - WORLD -

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.

The 34 peo­ple who died were sleep­ing in a cramped bunkroom be­low the main deck of the Con­cep­tion when the fire broke out be­fore dawn and quickly en­gulfed the boat.

Pre­lim­i­nary find­ings on the causes of death, an­nounced by Santa Bar­bara County Sher­iff Bill Brown, sug­gest the vic­tims in­haled highly toxic smoke and died in their sleep with­out ever know­ing, rather than be­ing burned alive.

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