17 people dead after 'duck boat' sinks in Missouri lake

Seven people were taken to hospital after the sinking

17 people dead after 'duck boat' sinks in Missouri lake

Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri | Image: Andrew Jansen/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 19:25

17 people have drowned after an amphibious "duck boat" capsized and sank in stormy weather on a Missouri lake.

31 people were on board when it went down at Table Rock Lake, near Branson, around 7.00pm local time on Thursday.

Seven people were taken to hospital after the sinking of the "Ride the Ducks" craft.

Wind of 63mph was reported at a nearby airport at the time of the incident, with the US National Weather Service saying it was probably even stronger on the lake due to the open space.

A video posted online showed the boat being rocked by strong waves:

On Thursday night, officials initially reported that at least 8 people had died.

That was later raised to 17 after more bodies were found on Friday.

The New York Times reports that the boat's captain survived, while a second crew member died.

Rescue boats are seen on July 20, 2018 at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. Picture by: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

The duck boats - which can drive on land and also go in the water - are a common site in tourist destinations but there have been a number of deaths involving the vehicles over the years.

Ride the Ducks International, which builds the vehicles, agreed to pay a US$1m fine after one of them hit a bus in Seattle in 2015 and killed five students.

In 2010, two young Hungarian tourists also died when a duck boat stalled in Philadelphia and was hit by a barge.

Critics say their design creates numerous blind spots for drivers, putting people in danger of being hit.