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Branson City Hall Opens as Command Center for Survivors, Family of Boat Accident


The Stone County Sheriff says at least 11 people have died after a Ride the Rucks boat sank Thursday night on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri.

Sheriff Doug Rader said he believed stormy weather led to the boat capsizing and sinking.

The City of Branson has set up a small command center at Branson City Hall for survivors and family members.

Melody Pettit is a spokeswoman for the City of Branson, and told KSMU Friday morning that City Hall will continue to function as both a public office and a staging ground.

“We brought in chaplains. We brought in the Red Cross. The mayor showed up just to hand out some Kleenexes and to offer any support that was necessary during this trying time for them.”

The City of Branson has also set up a phone number for concerned family members who may be out of state—or for survivors who may need to connect with loved ones.  That number is 417-337-8515.

City officials will hold briefings today for family members only at Branson City Hall:  those briefings will take place at 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 4:00 PM Friday.

Duck boats, known for their ability to travel on both land and water, have been involved in deadly accidents before, including one in 1999 near Hot Springs, Arkansas, in which 13 people died.

Summer is peak tourism season for the small Ozarks town of Branson, known for its theme parks and live music theaters.