At Least 17 Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes In Missouri Lake

At Least 17 Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes In Missouri Lake

At Least 17 Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes In Missouri Lake

The man-made lake where the boat sank is a popular tourist draw located in southern Missouri near the city of Branson, on the border with Arkansas.

Then at 7:44 p.m.: "We have at least six fatalities we're trying to deal with and we're trying to dive for some more missing people ... and we're treating some, obviously the injured ones".

Authorities said 31 people were onboard when thunderstorms rolled into the area.

A tourist boat capsized and sank Thursday during a fierce storm on a lake in Missouri, killing at least 13 people, the local sheriff said.

At least 11 people, including children, have now died after a boat carrying tourists on a U.S. lake capsized and sank.

"Just a bad, horrific tragic accident has occurred", Parson told CNN on Friday, noting that 13 people had been confirmed dead.

Among the rescuers was an off-duty sheriff's deputy on the Branson Belle who "jumped in and helped", Rader said.

Video footage shot by an eyewitness who was on shore showed waves tossing two duck boats side to side.

The video ends abruptly with the boats still struggling to overcome the waves.

"If there's kids on there, those poor babies", a female voice says.

In the wake of this latest incident, attorney Robert Mongeluzzi's Philadelphia law firm, which represented previous victims and called duck boats "deathtraps", released a statement calling for a national ban of the vehicles.

Life jackets were on board the boat, Rader said.

"Very sad to hear about this terrible accident - prayers for all those involved and the first responders who are assisting", Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said on Twitter . The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is sending a team to investigate.

A severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for Branson at 6:32 p.m. Thursday, about 40 minutes before the boat tipped over.

During a press conference Friday morning, Rader said it was too early to know the cause of the incident.

There were numerous reports of damage throughout the county, including trees down and structural damage, said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

Brayden Malaske, of Harrah, Oklahoma, says no one was anxious about the weather when he boarded the Showboat Branson Belle with family shortly before the storm hit Thursday night.

Duck boat tours are big business-dozens of cities around the world use them to shuttle passengers around the most touristic areas-but they have also had more than a few safety mishaps.

Soon, the sound of sirens filled the air, Burkhart said, and he and his wife left to get out of the way for first responders. Lindenberg said winds reached speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. He said he was about to start CPR when an EMT arrived and took over.

Jim Pattison Jr., president of the Ride the Ducks Branson's parent company, told CNN that the 68 miles per hour gusts of wind and major waves "came out of nowhere".

"We do not allow our DUCKs to go into the Charles River if there is lightning in the area or if conditions are forecasted to exceed our operating parameters set by the US Coast Guard", the company said.

He said the captain of the boat, who has 16 years of experience, survived, but the driver did not. The company has been in operation for 47 years without any incident such as this, he said.

The boat was carrying 29 passengers and two crew members on a pleasure cruise, and authorities said everyone aboard had been accounted for. The boats' history dates back to World War II, when such boats were a common sight due to their versatility. "That's the kind of man Robert was, is". You could tell that it couldn't go very fast. "He was the calmest spirit you could ever meet".

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