Nine people in one family were among the 17 killed when a tourist duck boat capsized in a Missouri lake Thursday night, the governor's office said. Two other members of that family survived.
Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on board the amphibious craft when it plunged into 80 feet of water in Table Rock Lake near Branson as severe thunderstorms struck the area, officials said. The boat landed upright on its wheels, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.
Children were among the 17 killed, officials said. Seven others were injured, one seriously, the governor's office said.
Six patients were admitted to the Cox Medical Center Branson, hospital officials said in a press conference Friday afternoon. Two adults are in critical condition, and two children are in stable condition, officials said. One child and one adult have been released.
It appeared there were life jackets on board, Rader said, but it was not yet clear how many people were wearing them.
One crew member survived and one did not.
An investigation is now underway.
"We're a community of smiles," Branson Mayor Karen Best told ABC News on Friday. "But for the past 16, 17, 18 hours, we've been a town of tears and a town of comfort, and just making sure that we can give them everything they need."
Counselors are on-hand to help survivors cope and also just be there for the "little things," she said. One counselor took a survivor with wet socks to the bathroom to help him dry them out, she said.
"While they're investigating, the thing to do is we're keeping our focus on the families, and once again keeping them in our thoughts and our prayers," Best said. "We're very resilient."
Severe evening thunderstorms, including winds in excess of 60 mph, struck the area at the time of the deadly crash. Eyewitness video showed the craft, which travels on land and water, taking on water as waves lashed at its sides.
Tony Burkhart posted a video on Twitter showing the stormy conditions on the lake before the boat capsized. He said he and his wife decided not to take the tour because of the weather.
Allison Lester, who was on a nearby boat, told "Good Morning America” Friday that the waters "were rough.”
"The wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere,” she said.