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(Updated fatalities 10:45am) Tragedy struck Thursday night at a popular lake near Branson when a Ride the Ducks boat sank during a thunderstorm. Authorities now say 17 people are confirmed dead in the water at Table Rock Lake. A strong thunderstorm moved through that area around 7pm Thursday as the boat was attempting to return to shore.
The Stone County Sheriff's Department says there were 31 adults and children on board the boat at the time it sank in choppy water. All have now been accounted for. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader:
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Missouri Highway Patrol dive teams were on the scene into the late evening. It is believed all of the victims drowned. Seven people were taken to area hospitals for treatment of minor to serious injuries and a few others were able to swim to shore. Local media reports in Branson indicated the storm produced wind gusts of more than 60 miles per hour at the Branson Airport around the same time.