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She 'danced her whole childhood.' Then she lost both of her legs in a boat explosion

Stefanie Schaffer (right), identified as a victim of a boat explosion in the Bahamas, is a lifelong dancer who lost both of her legs in the accident, family members said. The tour boat, which was off the coast of Exuma, was carrying 12 people. One died.
Stefanie Schaffer (right), identified as a victim of a boat explosion in the Bahamas, is a lifelong dancer who lost both of her legs in the accident, family members said. The tour boat, which was off the coast of Exuma, was carrying 12 people. One died. Facebook

A 22-year-old lifelong dancer lost both of her legs in a boat explosion, her family says, but she doesn't know it yet.

Stefanie Schaffer was one of the 12 people on a tour boat in the Bahamas when the vessel went up in flames, according to ABC7. She was riding with her sister Brooke and parents Paul and Stacey Bender on Saturday when the boat suddenly erupted.

One person, an American tourist, died in the blast, believed to be caused by an engine explosion, according to CNN.

The accident also left Stefanie Schaffer in a medically-induced coma with severe injuries, ABC News reported. She broke multiple bones, her brother George said, and doctors amputated both of her legs.

The news is especially devastating for her family, George told ABC News, because Schaffer "danced her whole childhood."

Her sister Brooke and father Paul received only minor injuries, while her mom broke several bones, per ABC7.

A video shows black smoke billowing from the boat, which was engulfed in flames, as people swim to rescue those still on board.

The explosion happened just after 9 a.m., according to CNN, and sent four Americans to a Florida hospital.

Captain Horace Smith, owner of a tour boat company called Sugar Adventure Company, told the Bahamas Tribune that he wants to speak to the man who was giving the guided tour on the ill-fated boat, which belongs to the Four C's Adventures company.

“If it was my boat and I saw smoke," he said, "everyone would be off the boat before the explosion happened but only he knows what happened.”

The captain of that boat, Ron Watson, has been discharged from a hospital in Nassau, the capital of Bahama, after receiving treatment there, CNN reported.

Smith added that he transported some of the victims on his boat.

"Two women were holding onto a guy. One of them said she couldn’t feel her legs so my son jumped into the water to help her," he told the Bahamas Tribune. "There was a lot of blood on my boat from the lady whose leg was damaged.”

Stefanie Schaffer's family has since created a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of the medical procedures for her and her mom.

As of Monday afternoon, they raised just over $55,000 of their $100,000 goal.

"We know their expenses will far exceed this," the page reads, "as this becomes a life long struggle for this family."

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