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Death Tolls Hits 13 in Missouri Duck Boat Disaster

4 still missing in Table Rock Lake
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 4:02 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2018 7:40 AM CDT
Emergency responders work at Table Rock Lake after a deadly boat accident in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018.   (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP)
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(Newser) – Severe weather is being blamed for what could be America's deadliest "duck boat" disaster. Authorities in Branson, Missouri, have confirmed that at least 13 people, including children, died Thursday night when an amphibious boat carrying tourists capsized and sank in Table Rock Lake. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said Friday that four people remain missing, reports the AP. He added that 14 people survived, and that seven of them were injured. Stone County Sheriff Douglas Rader said the boat apparently sank due to intense winds and thunderstorms in the area, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Rader said some of the 31 people on the boat were rescued by an off-duty deputy who was in the area.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Lindenberg says a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the area Thursday evening, the AP reports. Eyewitness video shows the boat being struck by huge waves. "Duck boats," originally used by the military in World War II, have been involved in several other deadly accidents nationwide, including a sinking in Arkansas that killed 13 people in 1999, though a Ride the Ducks spokeswoman says this is the first accident in more than 40 years of operation in Branson. "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the captain did his best," Roger Braillier, captain of another duck boat, tells the Washington Post. "All of our hearts are completely broken right now."

(Read more duck boat stories.)

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