Singaporean researcher confirmed killed in US boat fire
The family of Singaporean researcher Sunil Singh Sandhu yesterday confirmed that he died in the fire that destroyed the dive boat Conception on Sept 2 in the United States.
A family spokesman told The New Paper that DNA results verified the 46-year-old research scientist's identity.
The fire killed 34 people - all 33 passengers and one crew member - who were sleeping on the lower deck of the 23m-long recreational dive boat off the coast of California.
Only five crew members, stationed on the deck, survived.
The 21 women and 13 men who perished were aged between 16 and 62, and were believed to have died from smoke inhalation.
Another Singaporean, postgraduate student Wei Tan, 26, was confirmed among the dead earlier this month.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a statement confirming the two Singaporeans had died in the blaze.
It expressed its deepest condolences to the affected families.
MFA also thanked the US Embassy in Singapore and relevant US agencies for their help in the search and recovery operations and victim identification process.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that the remains of the final victim had been found by divers on Wednesday.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said on its Twitter page yesterday: "The Conception Incident Unified Command is relieved to report that search and recovery efforts today were successful in locating the last missing victim.
"DNA testing is still being conducted to confirm identities of seven of the 34 victims recovered."
The US Coast Guard also issued a new safety bulletin.
It focused on escape routes, crew training, operational firefighting and lifesaving equipment, the condition of passenger accommodation spaces and the charging of lithium-ion batteries.
The bulletin said: "A Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation has been convened and will conduct a thorough and comprehensive marine casualty investigation to determine the causal factors that contributed to this tragic incident."
It also announced the US Coast Guard aimed to reduce potential fire hazards.
This included limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords.