Twenty-two year old seriously injured in Bahamas boat explosion has legs amputated

(ABC NEWS)- Stefanie Schaffer and her mother, Stacey, had traveled to the Bahamas to spend a vacation soaking in the sun, swimming in the clear blue waters and spending time with Stefanie’s younger sister Brooke and stepfather Paul Bender. Now the rest of their family is rushing to their side after a tragic explosion severely injured both women.

 

Stefanie, 22, suffered life-threatening injuries when the small tour boat the four of them were riding in exploded Saturday morning, according to her brother George, who spoke to ABC News on Sunday. George said Stefanie had both of her legs amputated and remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau.

 

Stacey sustained serious injuries, including multiple broken bones and internal injuries. Paul and Brooke suffered cuts and bruises, but escaped serious injury.

 

One person, an American, was killed in the explosion and nine others, including the Schaffer family, were injured. There were 12 people on the boat — 10 Americans and two Bahamas natives — when it exploded at about 9 a.m. Saturday off the coast of Exuma.

 

George told ABC News his younger sister “danced her whole childhood.”

 

He and other member of their family from Rutland, Vermont, are traveling to Nassau to be at his sister and mother’s sides in the hospital.

 

The family started a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $50,000 to pay for Stacey’s and Stefanie’s medical expenses and travel. It had raised about $17,700 in its first 12 hours since being posted.

 

“Hang in there Stef I’m on my way,” George wrote on his Facebook page.

 

Video filmed from a nearby boat showed panicked tourists jumping into the shallow water in an attempt to rescue passengers in the burning boat. Thick, black smoke was pouring into the sky and large flames were still shooting from the disabled craft.

 

The cause of the explosion has not been determined at this time. Exuma police are leading the investigation.

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