An American woman was celebrating her anniversary on a tourist boat in the Bahamas when tragedy struck.
Maleka Grimes Jackson, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and her husband, Tiran Jackson, booked the trip to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary, her father Malvin Grimes told NewsChannel 9.
Jackson and her husband were amongst 10 other passengers on the boat sailing in the Bahamas off the coast of Exuma.
Moments after setting sail, flames bursted from the boat causing black smoke to erupt. Jackson was killed while the other passengers were injured. Tiran Jackson was transported to a hospital in Florida due to severe burns, Fox Chattanooga reports.
Jackson’s father told CBS that she was a loving mother and believed in giving back to the community. He stated:
“Maleka would be I guess what I call a shooting star … she had a life that kind of stayed straight on the course and it was a life that brought a lot of joy and a lot of support and love into the lives of others.”
Days before the explosion, Jackson and her husband took their 12-year-old son to stay with family in Nashville. Grimes told NewsChannel 9 that explaining the death of Jackson to her son was difficult, however, her son understands the “eternal place of his mom.”
Amongst the injured was a 22-year-old woman who had to have both of her legs amputated as a result of the explosion.
Survivors of the boat explosion spoke out to ABC News for the first time on Tuesday.
A GoFundMe was started to support the family of Maleka Grimes Jackson.