Rescue personnel work after an amphibious "duck boat" capsized and sank at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Stone County, Missouri, the United States. (Southern Stone County Fire Protection District/Facebook/via REUTERS)
CHICAGO, July 20 (Xinhua) -- An amphibious tourist boat carrying 31 people sank in a lake in the U.S. state of Missouri Thursday night, killing 17 people, including children, as severe thunderstorms struck the area, officials said.
A total of 14 people survived, including seven who were injured when the Ride the Ducks tourist boat sank in Table Rock Lake in Branson Thursday evening, local media quoted Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace as saying.
Among the seven injured, four are adults and three are children. Two adults were in critical condition and others were being treated for minor injuries, officials said.
Some 29 passengers and two crew members were on board the amphibious boat when it plunged into 80 feet of water and landed upright on its wheels, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.
Rader said life jackets were on the boat, but he doesn't know whether or how many people were wearing them.
According to Rader, passengers and workers on the nearby showboat, which was still docked as people boarded for a cruise, helped to rescue the struggling people at first time.
Several dive teams from different law enforcement agencies joined the rescue Thursday night and recovery efforts were paused late in the evening. By Friday morning, 11 bodies of victims had been discovered.
On Friday morning the search diving operations resumed. The rest 6 bodies had been discovered by the divers by late Friday morning, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Tasha Sadowicz said.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences early Friday, extending his deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved.
"It's a sad occasion, a lot of people involved. Right now is just a time for thoughts and prayers," Missouri Governor Mike Parson said.
Parson said other details of the accident remained unclear as local, state and federal authorities began an investigation.
The Coast Guard will conduct an investigation, said Pace. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board will travel to the scene Friday.