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Seventeen dead after Missouri tourist boat sinks in storm

2018-07-20 18:28
Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S. tourist incidents in recent years. The World War Two-style amphibious vehicle was filled with 31 passengers including children when a microburst storm hit Table Rock Lake outside the tourist city of Branson, Missouri, on Thursday. A video of the incident showed it battered by waves. Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. The vehicle was 80 feet (24 m) under water. "It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur," Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference. "Today it's just still early." The incident began around 7 p.m. (0000 GMT) on Thursday after thunderstorms rolled through the area, when two duck boats were out on the lake, officials said. Both headed back to shore but only one made it. "From what I understand there was life jackets in the duck," Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told the press conference. He declined to answer questions about whether passengers on the duck had been wearing them at the time. The National Transportation Safety Board and U.S. Coast Guard are investigating, officials said. Rader noted that the boat's captain survived the sinking but the driver did not. Officials did not comment on the identities or ages of the other people who drowned. Credit: AP, Storyful