Four more bodies have been pulled from the water where a duck boat capsized on Thursday night, bringing the total death toll from the tragedy to 17.
All of the victims were on board the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel when a powerful storm rolled over the lake, lashing the water with 60mph winds at around 7pm.
At least 11 people died and five others were missing after a tourist boat capsized on Table Rock Lake as a powerful storm moved through on Thursday night, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.
— Mark Moseley (@KARKMark) July 20, 2018
Shocking footage recorded at the scene at Table Rock Lake, Stone County, near Branson, Missouri, shows the ‘Ride the Ducks’ amphibious vehicle being lashed by massive waves and tilting side to side before it begins to sink into the lake.
Before the video cuts out, the boat appears to be submerged up to the windows and about to turn on its side.
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District has labelled the tragedy a ‘mass casualty’.
The St Louis Post Dispatch reports,
The sheriff also said at a late-night press conference that seven people were taken by ambulance from the scene where the Ride the Ducks boat sank but that only one had serious injuries.
However, a spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center Branson said four adults and three children arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident. Two adults are in critical condition and the others were treated for minor injuries, Brandei Clifton said.
Rader said dive team rescue operations had been halted late Thursday but would resume in the morning.
Authorities planned a 9 a.m. news conference about the accident.
At an earlier press briefing, Rader said the tourist boat “capsized and sank.” He said the boat remained underwater late Thursday night.
He said the dead are believed to have drowned.
He added that the disaster had apparently been caused by the storm. The National Weather Service said wind speeds up to 63 mph were reported at the Branson Airport at about 7:30 p.m.
A witness aboard the Branson Belle showboat captured video of two of the so-called duck boats on the lake, apparently just before one of them capsized. The video shows the boats rocking as large waves slam into them. The boats have wheels and can be driven into the water.
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