The dreams and expectations of 11 people have been aborted after their tourist boat capsized and sank on Thursday.

The accident occurred during a fierce storm on a lake in Missouri, killing at least 11 people, the local sheriff said.

The incident on Table Rock Lake that occurred as thunderstorms rumbled through the US Midwest left another seven people hospitalized while at least five are still missing, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told journalists, saying some of the dead were children.

The local branch of the Cox Medical Center said two people were in critical condition, while the sheriff added several people had made it safely to shore.

Divers had arrived at the scene to assist in the search, Rader said, ending the rescue efforts for the night at approximately 11pm (0400 GMT Friday), with plans to reboot operations in the morning.

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Rader said 31 people had been aboard the amphibious vessel, known as a duck boat for its wheels that allow it to ride on land in addition to floating low on the water.

He said the incident was caused by heavy winds, saying the tour boat had been making its way to land. Two boats had been on the water, according to Rader, one of which returned safely.

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Rick Kettels, who owns the Lakeside Resort on the shores of Table Rock Lake, said the storm appeared to come out of nowhere.

“It just came up real quick,” he told AFP, saying the storm struck around 6:15 pm local time.

“I’ve been here most of my life and I never saw a storm this bad,” he added, saying he had not seen a warning from local weather stations.

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