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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The widow of a passenger who died in a fiery dive boat disaster that killed 34 people in the waters off California sued the vessel’s owners Monday.
Christine Dignam, whose husband, Justin Dignam, died when the Conception caught fire Sept. 2 off the Santa Barbara coast, claimed that the boat was unsafe.
The vessel didn’t have adequate smoke detectors or firefighting equipment, it lacked enough emergency exits, and a required night watch was not on duty when the flames broke out in the middle of the night, according to the wrongful-death lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.
U.S. authorities are conducting criminal and safety investigations into the fire that killed all 33 passengers and one crew member sleeping below deck. The blaze’s cause has not been determined.
The lawsuit against Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics Inc. is the first from a relative of the victims who died. A crew member who was injured trying to escape the flames previously sued.
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California boat crew members lacked emergency training, saw 'sparks' in outlet before fire that killed 34: NTSB https://t.co/3a1r4jAJo7
No emergency training for crew on California dive boat where fire killed 34 https://t.co/wYpKU0yDla via @nbcnews R.I.P. 🙏
Crew on Boat Where Fire Killed 34 in California Had No Emergency Training https://t.co/Pq5MYfJCpU https://t.co/fiTlnNWtgD
Crew on Boat Where Fire Killed 34 in California Had No Emergency Training https://t.co/85SyefIROk. #expertwitness d… https://t.co/zBgOjWvQOe
Crew on Boat Where Fire Killed 34 in California Had No Emergency Training https://t.co/hLIumr7gzQ