LOS ANGELES — Coroner’s reports for the 34 victims who died in a scuba boat fire off the Southern California coast last year show they died of carbon monoxide poisoning before they were burned, authorities said Thursday.
All thirty-three scuba divers and one crew member died in the Sept. 2 fire aboard the Conception, anchored off Santa Cruz Island. The only survivors were the captain and four other crew members, who were asleep above deck.
The Santa Barbara County coroner’s reports list smoke inhalation as the cause of death for the 34 victims, all of whom were in the below-deck bunk room when the fire broke out. The manner of death is considered accidental, said Lt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara sheriff’s office.
The pre-dawn blaze swept through the boat anchored off the Channel Islands for a three-day excursion over Labor Day Weekend. Passengers included a girl celebrating her 17th birthday with her parents and friend, an environmental