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Driver Killed in Missouri Duck Boat Accident Had New England Ties

The driver of a duck boat that capsized and sank in stormy weather in Missouri, killing himself and 16 others, had ties to New England.

According to WJAR-TV, Robert Williams used to live in East Providence, Rhode Island and worked as foreman of the buildings and grounds division at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority until he retired about 10 years ago.

Authorities in Branson, Missouri are blaming thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength for Thursday's accident, and said a full investigation is underway.

The risk of heavy weather was apparent hours before the boat left shore.

The boat was carrying 29 passengers and two crew members on a pleasure cruise of Table Rock Lake, and everyone aboard had been accounted for by midday Friday. Seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the vessel went down. At least two were hospitalized in critical condition, but doctors said they are expected to survive.

Authorities have not publicly identified the dead but said they included a 1-year-old child.

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