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20 bodies recovered in California beach tragedy

California Boat

Search operations were postponed on Tuesday for survivors of a scuba-diving boat tragedy off the California beach after divers recovered 20 bodies and dotted another four to six stuck in underwater ruins.

The remains of 11 women and nine men were moved to coroner offices after the 23-meter Conception caught fire and sank on Monday, tricking below-deck passengers under the roaring fire.

Related: ‘Paradise is Gone’: California fire wreaks havoc as death toll rises to 23

“Today we will start the process of plotting DNA profiles of the 20 wounded that we have recovered so far, so that they can be matched with family samples,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told a news meeting.

Related: Passenger boat sinks in flames off California

The boat had been on a diving trip nearby Santa Cruz Island, just west of Santa Barbara in southern California, when tragedy struck early on Monday.

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