A terrible tragedy has struck families near Branson, Missouri, where a duck boat capsized and sank during a powerful thunderstorm Thursday night. Officials have reported that at least 11 people are dead, including children and rescue teams are still searching for missing passengers.
The Ride the Duck boat carried about 31 people on Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks. A Thunderstorm struck the area, bringing in winds as strong as 60 mph.
A severe thunderstorm warning bad been issued for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, and it is believed to have struck down the boat at around 8 p.m.
Passengers on a nearby showboat, the Branson Belle, watched as the boat had a difficult time reaching land and staying upright. It eventually began to tip before it completely capsized.
The Branson Belle workers did their best to pull victims out of the water as first responders made their way to the scene.
In a statement from the Stone County Sheriff, Doug Rader, five people have not been accounted for and seven more are injured. As of this writing, different agencies continue to search the waters for the remaining victims.
A tweet from Table Rock Lake (@TableRockLakeMO) states, “We are aware of a major incident that happened tonight on Table Rock Lake, and ask hat you pray for those involved as well as law enforcement/first responders.”
A spokeswoman for the boat company, Suzanne Smagala-Potts told PEOPLE magazine, “Number one, our priority is the families and employees, and that’s what we’re focusing on. We are in contact with authorities.”