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10 Missing After Casino Ferryboat Overturns in Crossing Colorado River

July 13, 1988|United Press International

LAUGHLIN, Nev. — About 10 people were missing Tuesday night when a casino ferryboat carrying passengers across the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona overturned.

The ferry dumped about 30 people into fast moving water. But Capt. Joe Anderson of the Bullhead City, Ariz., Fire Department said 20 people were pulled to safety almost immediately. Nine or 10 others were missing, he said.

Joe Harrington, administrator of the Bullhead City Community Hospital, said the hospital had been placed on alert to treat the injured.

Anderson said the accident occurred about 9 p.m., when a casino ferryboat capsized near the dock of the Edgewater Hotel-Casino, one of two Laughlin resorts owned by Circus Circus Enterprises.

Anderson said three ambulances from Bullhead City were sent to the Nevada side of the river to assist. He said eight Fire Department divers were in the water within a few minutes to rescue and search for the victims.

A spokesman at Mercy Ambulance Service in Las Vegas said at least two divers were sent from Las Vegas, along with air ambulance crews.

Laughlin is a boom town located on the Nevada side of the Colorado River where casinos line the shore. Virtually every casino has a fleet of ferryboats to transport customers and hotel-casino employees between Laughlin and Bullhead City, which is located directly across the river.

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