Missouri Duck Boat Accident Leaves 13 Dead, Including Children

A tourist duck boat capsized in a lake near Branson, Missouri, killing at least 13 people, including children, as severe thunderstorms struck the area Thursday night, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.

Seven were injured and four others remain missing as of Friday morning, officials said.

Divers are continuing to search the waters, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Friday morning.

“Our thoughts and prayers right now are with these family members,” Parson said, calling the accident a “tragedy.”

A total of 29 passengers and two crew members were on board the amphibious craft when it plunged into 80 feet of water and landed upright on its wheels, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.

It appeared there were life jackets on board, Rader said, but it was not yet clear how many people were wearing them.

Severe evening thunderstorms, including winds in excess of 60 mph, struck the area at the time. Eyewitness video showed the craft, which travels on land and water, taking on water as waves lashed at its sides.

Tony Burkhart posted a video on Twitter showing the stormy conditions on the lake before the boat capsized. He said he and his wife decided not to take the tour because of the weather.

Allison Lester, who was on a nearby boat, told “Good Morning America” Friday that the waters “were rough.”

“The wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere,” she said.

Lester’s boyfriend, Trent Behr, added: “We actually heard the captain say the boat flipped or the boat was sinking.”

Behr said he saw a woman lying in the water.

President Trump expressed his condolences for the victims Friday morning.

“My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri,” President Trump said in a tweet. “Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is sending a team to investigate.

ABC News’ Will Gretsky, Whitney Lloyd and Matt Foster contributed to this report.

SOURCE: MATT ZARRELL, JUSTIN DOOM EMILY SHAPIRO
ABC News