Seventeen people have died after a "duck boat" overturned and sank in a lake in the Midwestern American state of Missouri.
The boat was carrying 29 tourists and two crew members. The accident happened on Table Rock Lake in Branson, a tourist area famous for country music shows and other entertainment.
Officials blamed the accident on stormy weather. Winds at the time were blowing as hard as 105 kilometers per hour.
Missouri state police said fourteen people survived, including seven who were injured when the boat sank.
The boats were first designed for the United States military to transport troops and supplies during World War II. They have the ability to travel on land and in water.
The boats were later changed to be used as sightseeing vehicles and renamed “duck boats.”
The Missouri accident is the latest in a series of accidents involving duck boats. More than 30 people have died in such incidents in the last 20 years.
Thirteen people died after a duck boat sank near Hot Springs in the state of Arkansas in 1999.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two Hungarian tourists were killed in 2010 when a barge hit a disabled duck boat in the Delaware River. Five years later, a woman was struck and killed by a duck boat while crossing a Philadelphia street.
In 2015, five college students were killed and 69 others were injured when a duck boat hit a bus in Seattle, Washington.
And in 2016, a duck boat ran over a scooter in Boston, Massachusetts. One woman died and another person was seriously injured.
Andrew Duffy works for the law firm that represented the duck boat accident victims in Philadelphia. He called duck boats “death traps.” He told the Associated Press, “They’re not fit for water or land because they are half car and half boat.”
Suzanne Smagala is with Ripley Entertainment, which runs the duck boat operation in Branson. She said this was the area's only duck boat accident in more than 40 years of operation.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Branson on Friday to examine the accident.
U.S. President Donald Trump extended his sympathies to the victims and their families. He wrote Friday on Twitter, “Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!”
I’m Ashley Thompson.
Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on AP and additional reporting. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
tourist - n. a person who travel to a place for pleasure
scooter - n. a small vehicle with two wheels that is powered by a motor and that has a low seat and a flat area for resting your feet
barge - n. a large boat that has a flat bottom and that is used to carry goods in harbors and on rivers and canals
tragedy - n. a very bad event that causes great sadness and often involves someone's death