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Sheriff: 4 missing from duck boat are presumed dead

Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, leaving several people dead and several others hospitalized. (Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP)

UPDATE: Friday - 10:55 a.m.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader described the search as a "recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing" during a news conference Friday morning.

Rader says the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived when the boat sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lock in the Branson area. Thirteen victims already have been found.

Rader says an off-duty deputy aboard the nearby Showboat Branson Belle and others on the riverboat jumped in to help the duck boat's passengers. He described the rescue effort as "outstanding."

Branson is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists.

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NOTE: This event is live and maybe subject to pauses and breaks in coverage. The presser is expected to begin at 10 a.m. ET.

UPDATE: Friday - 9:30 a.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — The National Weather Service is warning of a fresh round of thunderstorms, as divers search for four people missing after a duck boat capsized on a lake in southwest Missouri.

Meteorologist Jason Schaumann says some of the storms are expected to churn up large hail and damaging straight line winds when they hit Friday afternoon in the Branson area where the Ride the Ducks boat sank. The bodies of 13 victims already have been found.

Schaumann says wind gusts of 50 to 65 mph (80 to 105 kph) were recorded around the time the boat capsized Thursday night in Table Rock Lake after a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued. He says the weather was calm in the search area overnight and that the area narrowly avoided more storms Friday morning.

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UPDATE: Friday - 8:30 a.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) —President Donald Trump is extending his "deepest sympathies" to those affected by a Missouri boat accident that has killed at least 13.

In a Friday morning tweet, the president sends his: "deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri."

He adds: "Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!"

Local officials said 14 people survived the sinking of a duck boat and four others remain missing after the accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.

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UPDATE: Friday - 8:10 a.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say divers have found two more bodies after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 13.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says four others remain missing Friday after the accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson Thursday evening. He says 14 others survived, but that seven were injured.

Pace says those who died ranged in age from 1 to 70-years old.

Branson is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists looking for entertainment ranging from theme parks to live music.

In an interview with CNN, Missouri Governor Mike Parson also reported that at least 13 people were killed in the Branson duck boat incident.

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UPDATE: Friday - 7:40 a.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say six people remain missing after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized and sank on a lake in southwest Missouri.

The Stone County Sheriff's Office updated the number of missing after the accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson Thursday evening from five in a post on Facebook early Friday. The office says 11 people are confirmed dead and 14 survived.

Seven people were hospitalized after the boat capsized and two are in critical condition.

Divers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol will resume searching for the missing Friday.

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BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — At least 11 people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank, the local sheriff said.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said five people remain missing and seven others were hospitalized after a Ride the Ducks boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson. Divers are expected to resume searching Friday for those unaccounted for after Thursday night's accident.

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.

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.

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.

Branson is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists looking for entertainment ranging from theme parks to live music.

Duck boats, known for their ability to travel on land and in water, have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past. They include one in 2015 in Seattle in which five college students were killed when a boat collided with a bus, and one in 1999 that left 13 people dead after the boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Safety advocates have sought improvements to the boats since the Arkansas incident. Critics argued that part of the problem is numerous agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

Duck boats were originally used by the U.S. military in World War II to transport troops and supplies, and later were modified for use as sightseeing vehicles.

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