17 dead after duck boat capsizes in Missouri lake during storm

Tourist boat capsizes in Branson multiple passengers killed and others missing

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Branson is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists looking for entertainment ranging from theme parks to live music.

Multiple dive teams from a number of law enforcement agencies were assisting in the rescue and recovery effort.

According to Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Coast Guard will conduct an investigation to determine the specifics of the situation. Several of the dead were children.

Divers have been searching the lake for about five others who are missing. Rader declined to give an age range of the passengers or elaborate on whether they were local or tourists.

Rader said he believes the incident was storm-related. McClure said the company monitors regional and local radar hourly before tours.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two Hungarian tourists were killed in 2010 when a barge hit a disabled duck boat in the Delaware River.

An amphibious vehicle carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank on Thursday night, killing as many as 11 people.

Officials blamed the accident on stormy weather.

In 2015, five students were killed and dozens of others injured when a duck boat struck a bus in Seattle.

Seven people were taken to hospitals, two with critical injuries. The driver of the boat has been specified as one of the 17, though the captain is reportedly alive.

In what was previously the deadliest incident, 13 people died in 1999 after a duck boat suddenly started taking on water while on a tour of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., according to the Associated Press.

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At one point, Behr said he and other passengers on the dinner boat helped pull an unconscious woman from the water. He said there were life jackets aboard the boat, but he doesn't know whether people were wearing them.

Investigators said the duck boat sank into the lake where it remained Friday afternoon.

Originally created by the U.S. Army for use in World War II, DUKWs (called "ducks") were amphibious trucks shaped like boats that ferried ammunition, supplies and equipment from offshore ships to troops stationed on beaches. On the road, the vehicles ride high and take up a great deal of space, and it's hard for drivers to see what's around them.

Passengers on a nearby boat described the chaos as the winds picked up and the water became rough.

"Debris was flying everywhere", Allison Lester said in an interview Friday. They are independently owned and operated companies. EMTs arrived before he could administer CPR, he said.

Weather conditions were sure to figure prominently in the investigation.

Emergency crews responded to the incident shortly after 7pm (12am BST) after thunderstorms rolled through the area.

"We're still working with families and making notifications, so at this time, I'm not giving that information out", he said. It sank in 80 feet of water and was upright when found by divers.

Rader said a Stone County sheriff's deputy was on the boat when it capsized and was helping to rescue people.

"Our number one priority is the families and our employees that were affected by this tragic accident", spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts said Thursday.

Weather can change rapidly in this part of the country, moving from sunshine and calm to unsafe storms within minutes.

However, the News-Leader quotes Capt. Jim Pulley, owner of a Sea Tow service on Table Lake, as saying the storm hit with 80 miles per hour winds that produced five-foot waves.