US: Duck Boat Capsized Killing 11 People
US: Duck Boat Capsized Killing 11 People

At least 11 people have died after an amphibious “duck boat” carrying tourists sank in stormy weather in the US state of Missouri, police say.

The vessel was carrying about 30 people on Table Rock Lake, a popular tourist attraction near the town of Branson, when it capsized, local media say.

Divers have been searching the lake for about five others who are missing.

Seven people were taken to hospital, two of whom were seriously injured, police said.

Emergency crews said they responded to the incident shortly after 19:00 (00:00 GMT) on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center in Branson, Brandei Clifton, said that four adults and three children had arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident.

It happened as a line of powerful thunderstorms rolled through the American Midwest uprooting trees and downing power lines, resulting in a weather warning.

Video footage shot by a witness on shore showed two duck boats struggling through choppy waters and spray.

One of the boats made it to shore but the other was driven back by the wind and gradually swamped.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said one of his deputies was on board at the time and had helped to rescue some of the passengers.

Amphibious vehicles are popular with tourists but have been involved in a number of fatal accidents.

In 2016, a woman died when her motorcycle was struck by a duck boat in Boston, leading to a review of the safety laws around amphibious vehicles.

A year earlier, five students were killed and dozens injured when an amphibious vehicle collided with a bus in Seattle.

In 2013, a tour operator in the UK had its tours suspended after one of its amphibious vessels caught fire.

What is a duck boat?

The vehicles used for sightseeing tours, such as the duck boat that sank in Branson, Missouri, are based on a design used during World War Two to transport personnel and supplies over land and water -known as the DUKW.

The DUKW, a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck, was first made in the US in the mid-1940s to deliver people and materials ashore where no port facilities existed.

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