Woman Killed On Anniversary Trip; Dancer Loses Both Legs In Tragic Bahamas Tour Boat Explosion
Maleka Jackson, of Chattanooga, TN, was killed, and Stefanie Schaffer, of Rutland, VT, lost both her legs.
One person was killed and nine others were injured in an explosion on a tour boat in The Bahamas Saturday, including one young Vermont woman who lost both her legs, according to ABC News.
Maleka Jackson (shown at left), 39, and her husband Tiran Jackson, were part of a tour off the coast of Exuma Cays, in The Bahamas, Saturday when the boat they were riding on suddenly burst into flames, apparently due to a problem with the engine, according to ABC.
Chester Cooper, a member of the Bahamian parliament, said in a Facebook post that four Americans were evacuated to Florida, while the rest were treated in The Bahamas.
"This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends," Cooper said on Facebook. "We are saddened and our hearts are hurting, but we will get through this together."
Jackson and her husband were in The Bahamas celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary, her father told WRCB TV Chattanooga.
One of the injured, Stefanie Schaffer, a ballet dancer from Rutland, Vt., was so badly hurt that doctors were forced to amputate both her legs, ABC reported. Schaffer's mom, Stacie, was also seriously hurt, with multiple broken bones and internal injuries, according to ABC.
Now, Schaffer and her mother are fighting for their lives, her brother George Schaffer told ABC. Stefanie remains in a medically induced coma after losing her legs, George told ABC News.
Stepdad Paul Bender and sister Brooke suffered cuts and bruises, George said, according to ABC.
One relative told the Daily Mail that the young woman does not yet know she's lost her legs.
“The scary thing is Stefanie doesn’t know that she’s lost her legs, and that’s what really upsets me,” the relative said, according to the Daily Mail. “She’s going to wake up from this coma and realize, ‘I don’t have legs.’ It’s breaking my heart.”
In a Facebook post, George pledged to be at his sister’s side as soon as he could.
“Hang in there Stef I’m on my way,” he wrote Sunday night.