A park ranger patrols an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in a 17 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

9 of 17 Missouri Boat Victims From Same Family

July 20, 2018 - 5:15 pm
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BRANSON, Mo. (1010 WINS/AP) — A spokeswoman for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said nine of the 17 people who died in a duck boat accident are from the same family.

Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones says Friday that another two members of the same family survived when the boat capsized on Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson.

Seven people were hospitalized

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters that everyone had been accounted for after the Ride the Ducks boat sank.

A spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center Branson said four adults and three children arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident. Two adults were in critical condition and the others were treated for minor injuries, Brandei Clifton said.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says those who died ranged in age from one-year-old to 70-years old.

Rader said the stormy weather was believed to be the cause of the capsizing. Another duck boat on the lake was able to safely make it back to shore.

Steve Lindenberg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Springfield, Missouri, said the agency issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Branson area Thursday evening. Lindenberg said winds reached speeds of more than 60 mph.

"It's a warning telling people to take shelter," he said.

Rader said an off-duty sheriff's deputy working security for the boat company helped rescue people after the accident.

Dive teams from a number of law enforcement agencies were assisting in the effort, but the sheriff said the divers ended their search for the night.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that investigators will arrive on the scene Friday morning.

Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities with the rescue effort. Smagala added this was the Branson tour's first accident in more than 40 years of operation.