All 34 passengers aboard burning dive boat presumed dead

Authorities said the sleeping area had no doors and the passengers were trapped by the inferno.
3:03 | 09/03/19

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Transcript for All 34 passengers aboard burning dive boat presumed dead
now to new developments in that horrific fire on a dive boat in California. At least 20 people now confirmed dead. And new images coming in late today of the boat burning in the middle of the night, with nearly three dozen people sleeping below deck. The boat sinking to the ocean floor. Divers now searching for the remaybes of passengers still missing. And tonight, we're learning more about who was onboard, including five members of the same family. And word that the emergency match and the stairs where passengers were sleeping were blocked by the fire. ABC's will Carr is in Santa Barbara tonight. Reporter: Tonight, families' worst fears confirmed. All 34 passengers trapped on the burning dive boat where are now presumed dead. Coast guard video showing the boat as it sinks. As of 9:40 A.M. This morning, coast guard has suspended search efforts pending further development. It is never an easy decision to suspend search efforts. Reporter: The desperate search has now turned into a grim recovery operation, with dive teams combing the wreckage sitting on the bottom of the pacific ocean. Today, efforts will be made to stabilize the boat so that divers can safely enter it, search it and recover additional victims. Reporter: The 75-foot boat caught fire early labor day morning. Five crew members jumped off and were rescued. Mayday, mayday, mayday. I can't breathe. Reporter: Passengers were asleep when the fire broke out and quickly became trapped by flames below deck. There was a stairwell to get down the main entry way up and down and there was an escape hatch and it would appear as though both of those were blocked by fire. Reporter: While those escape routes were open, authorities don't believe the victims had a chance. In a gut-wrenching social media post, mother Susanna solano Rosas says, "It is with a broken heart, three of our daughters were on this boat, as of now, they are still missing." This woman says her sister was the lone crew member who did not survive. She was everything to me. And she's just gone now. One of those things that just doesn't make sense. It makes no sense. It's not fair. It's not fair at all. Reporter: As of tonight, at least 20 bodies have been pulled from the water. But the emotional toll is far from over. With passengers still missing, what is your message to their loved ones tonight? My -- I am -- this is a very difficult time for them and my condolences and my thoughts are with them and their families. Powerful reminder this is difficult on first responders, as well. Will Carr joins us from the marina where the boat departed. Will, of course, the question that remains tonight, what caused this fire, and authorities are now interviewing the crew? Reporter: That's right, David. Tonight, the big question is, why. Authorities want to know exactly what ignited that fire and what the crew was doing when those first flames broke out. It comes as they're working to identify all the victims. David? Will Carr again tonight. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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