34 people missing after shocking boat fire in Southern California

Shocking pictures from the scene. Picture: AP
Shocking pictures from the scene. Picture: AP
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Firefighters say there were some deaths in a fire on a boat carrying dozens of people off the coast of Southern California.

The US Coast Guard and firefighters responded early on Monday to a fire on a dive boat near Santa Cruz Island.

The Daily Beast quoted Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department as saying that there were deaths.

But Capt McGrath said he could not give a number because the Coast Guard was still searching the water.

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He said that five people had been rescued, one with a moderate injury.

He said 34 people were still unaccounted for.

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The Coast Guard in Los Angeles said earlier that more than 30 people were "in distress" aboard the boat.

Santa Cruz Island is off the coast of Santa Barbara.