Family: 2 victims killed in Branson duck boat accident from Osceola

Published: Jul. 20, 2018 at 12:19 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2018 at 8:13 AM CDT
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BRANSON, MO (KAIT/KY3) - At least two victims killed after a duck boat capsized and sank in Branson are from Osceola, according to family members.

According to our sister station WMC in Memphis, Steve Smith, 53, and his son Lance Smith, 15, were both killed in the accident.

Family members also told WMC that Steve's daughter, Loren Smith, 14, was on the boat but managed to survive.

Their mother was also in Branson at the time of the accident but opted not to get on the boat.

Authorities say divers found six bodies Friday morning, bringing the death toll to 17, according to St. Louis television station KMOV.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says those who died ranged in age from 1 to 70-years-old. It is believed all passengers were accounted for. Fourteen passengers survived.

Of the seventeen killed, 9 were from one family, according to the governor's office. Two family members survived, including a teen boy.

The nine members of one family who died in the duck boat accident were from Indianapolis, said Thomas Griffith, suffragan bishop of Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Faith Church in Indianapolis. He did not identify them.

Stone County, MO Sheriff Doug Rader confirmed a total of 17 people were killed.

All 31 people on the boat are now accounted for, according to the sheriff.

According to a report from Springfield, MO television station KY3, officials said the incident happened around 7 p.m. Thursday as severe storms went through the area.

Rader said seven other people were hospitalized, according to the Associated Press.

Officials told KY3 that the boat sunk and remains in the water.

A staging area has been set up near the Showboat Branson Belle, while officials say the incident has nothing to do with the Belle, KY3 reported. Officials are also asking people to stay away from the area if at all possible.

The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators will arrive on the scene Friday morning.

Many have offered words of support in light of the tragedy on social media, including Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and President Donald Trump:

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.