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Duck Boat accident leaves 17 dead, others missing in Branson

Seventeen people are dead and numerous people are injured after a tourist duck boat capsized on Table Rock Lake on Thursday night, the Stone County sheriff said. Eleven people on the boat were from one family. It is not known how many in the family survived.

[Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest information that 17 people were killed in the accident]

Sheriff Doug Rader said that seven people were taken by ambulance from the scene where the Duck Boat sank.

“It capsized and sank,” Rader said of the tourist boat. 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 a powerful storm that moved through.

Rader said an off-duty deputy from his department had been on the boat when it went under. He credited the deputy with rescuing some of the boat’s passengers.

“We do have some people still missing so this is going to be all night into the morning we’re going to be working on this,” the sheriff said.

People who had relatives on the boat were urged to go to Branson City Hall to await reports.

Officials with the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District confirmed that several injured people were taken to hospitals and the coroner has been called out for people who have died.

The accident reportedly happened after a severe line of thunderstorms rolled through the area. Officials noted there was “storm debris” around the area.

Fire Protection District spokesman Eric Nielsen said the boat is submerged and cannot be seen from the surface.

The fire district said at about 8:20 p.m. that crews from several agencies and divers were on scene.

The fire district said the Branson Belle showboat was being used in the rescue but was not involved.

This is an ongoing story. Check back with Metro Voice for updates.