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Limo ride ends in fatal fire; five killed

Earlier this month, a girls' night out in another part of California turned into a nightmare for nine women when the limo in which they were riding inexplicably burst into flames. The tragic accident happened around 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, as the limo was driving across a bridge in San Francisco.

The women, all in their 30's and 40's, were out celebrating and had the music turned up and were enjoying themselves. However, as the chauffeur went across a bride, he heard a knock on the window partition and then heard screaming and cries of "smoke". When he pulled over, he looked out and saw the entire back of the limo was engulfed in leaping flames. He tried to help the women escape, but five of them were trapped and could not get out. The four women who managed to climb out of the limo through the front doors suffered serious burn injuries and smoke inhalation and were rushed to nearby hospitals for surgery and treatment. At least two of the women were in critical condition.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, which seemed to burst out of nowhere and burned with shocking ferocity and quickness. "I figured with all that fire that they were gone, man," said the limo driver. "There were just so many flames. Within maybe 90 seconds, the car was fully engulfed."

The limo company is licensed and properly insured, so the question will be whether the company was negligent or in any way responsible for the fatal blaze. According to reports, the limo was overcrowded, as it was only supposed to be carrying 8 people. Investigators will surely pay close attention to the safety protocols that may have been violated in this instance. If negligence is proven, the victims and their families will deserve to be fully compensated for their losses and injuries.

Source: NY Daily News, "Driver in deadly limo fire on California bridge describes horrific final moments; authorities say vehicle was overloaded," Eric Ortiz, May 6, 2013

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