The governor and other officials were holding a 10 a.m. press conference on the Branson duck accident tragedy. You can watch live stream video at this link and below:
Here’s another livestream:
Reporters asked whether life jackets were worn by people on the boat, but the governor said it was too early to answer most questions and the investigation remained underway.
Seventeen people are now listed as dead after the popular tourist amphibious duck boat capsized with more than 30 people, including children, on board in a lake near Branson, Missouri. Divers worked into the darkness, looking for missing people in the ink-black water. They suspended the search briefly for the night and then resumed it in the morning. Four people were listed as still being missing on July 20, 2018. However, now they have all been accounted for.
Of those in the hospital, at least three are under age 18. The dead range in age from 1 to 70, the Stone County Sheriff, Doug Rader, revealed.
Rader said in a news conference that the victims drowned. Seven other people were taken to the hospital; two of the wounded are in critical condition, according to a local hospital. The boat carried 29 tourists and 2 crew members.
“I believe it was caused by the weather,” the sheriff added of the tragedy. “It capsized and sank…The duck is still in the water… it sank.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Duck Boat’s Owner Said He’s ‘Absolutely Devastated’
The owner, Jim Patterson, told CNN the waters were calm when the duck went out, and the storm hit as it came back. “We’re absolutely devastated,” he said.
The NTSB is investigating.
Two videos emerged on Facebook that were taken by a person in another boat. They show the boat being lashed by the strong waters as it tried to return to shore. Be forewarned that they are disturbing as one of the videos shows the duck boat beginning to sink as it battles rough waters. “We are at Branson and on the showboat! A storm came in as we got on and there was 2 ducks that you ride out there and 1 went under. Not sure if everyone on it is ok,” wrote the woman who posted them on Facebook.
Here’s the first video:
Here’s the second video:
Here’s a shorter version on YouTube:
A video also emerged from another duck boat in the tumultuous waters:
A sheriff’s deputy on the boat as security was immediately in the water rescuing people, the sheriff said. “It’s going to be a challenging night,” he added.
Authorities are classifying the tragedy as a “mass casualty incident.”
The boat is reportedly underwater and can’t be seen from the surface. It carried 31 people, authorities said, and appears to have flipped over as a line of thunderstorms hit the area.
People on the nearby Branson Belle helped with the rescue, although the Branson Belle is not the boat that sank.
One local news report defined the boat as a “Ride the Ducks” boat, which is a popular tourist attraction in Branson. Southern Stone Fire, which is the lead agency responding to the scene, wrote earlier on, “Crews from multiple agencies are on scene of an MCI Mass Casualty Incident ‘tourist type boat involved’ this is on Table Rock Lake, Stone County, Branson Missouri. Taney County assisting. Several patients transported to area hospital. Divers on scene. Staging at Branson Belle. However the Branson Belle is not involved. More info to follow.”