Three British missing after Egyptian boat catches fire off Red Sea

­Three British nationals who went missing after a scuba diving boat they were cruising in caught fire in the Red Sea off the Egyptian coast have died, a U.K.-based tour operator said Monday,

Egyptian authorities say the three went missing when a medium-sized scuba vessel named “Hurricane” went up in flames off the southern Red Sea resort town of Marsa Alam on Sunday.

The blaze was caused by an electrical short circuit in the boat’s engine room, they said.

Twelve other British divers and 14 Egyptian crew members were evacuated Sunday morning from the vessel in a rescue operation near the Elphinstone Reef, Scuba Travel said in a short statement.

All 15 tourists were qualified divers on a weeklong cruise, it added.

Scuba Travel spokesperson Pat Adamson told the press that the tour operator was unable to provide any details about where the three guests were when the fire broke out at 8:30 a.m. local time Sunday or the location of the bodies.

However, he said it was normal for guests to opt out of early morning dives during week-long trips.

Adamson said the tour company has not received any confirmation from Egyptian authorities that an investigation team has boarded the boat.

The company says it is waiting for a full investigation.

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