California boat owners faulted for fire that killed 34

  • FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2019, file photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the dive boat Conception is engulfed in flames after a deadly fire broke out aboard the commercial scuba diving vessel off the Southern California Coast. Federal authorities are expected to vote Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 on what likely sparked a fire aboard a scuba dive boat last year that killed 34 people off the coast of Southern California. The pre-dawn blaze aboard the Conception is one of California’s deadliest maritime disasters, prompting both criminal and safety investigations into the Sept. 2, 2019 tragedy that claimed the lives of 33 passengers and one crew member on a Labor Day weekend expedition near an island off Santa Barbara. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES — One of the deadliest accidents in recent U.S. maritime history was the fault of owners of a Southern California dive boat whose lack of oversight resulted in a fire that swept through the vessel and killed 34 people in their bunks below deck, federal safety officials ruled Tuesday.

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