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Party Boat Capsizes Spills Depositing 50 Plus Into Texas Lake

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  • Party Boat Capsizes Spills Depositing 50 Plus Into Texas Lake

    80-year-old man dead after party boat capsized on Lake Conroe, Texas Parks and Wildlife says

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- An 80-year-old man has died after a double decker party boat capsized with 53 passengers and crew on board Saturday night on Lake Conroe.

    The man has been identified as Karl Katzenberger of Montgomery, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Sunday morning.

    Crews are working to remove the boat still on its side in the water.

    The accident happened near Regency Point on Lake Conroe just after 8 p.m.

    According to officials, strong thunderstorms blew in around that time, creating 4 to 5 foot waves and causing the boat, the Lake Conroe Queen, to overturn.

    A woman who had a panic attack went to the hospital and her husband accompanied her.

    Katzenberger was taken to an area hospital, where he died.

    "There's multiple people hanging onto the boat. Trying to work on them to try to get them out," a first responder can be heard saying in dispatch audio.

    ABC13 talked to residents in a nearby apartment complex who were able to rescue people. Children as young as 18 months old were on the boat.

    "Man, it was a pretty rough scene because the waves were five or six feet at least, and we were slowly pulling people back. And finally, the police got here, and they dove into the water and checked, and it seems like we got everybody accounted for," said Brock O'Rourke, who helped rescue people.

    "I made sure the little ones were out first. There were probably more than four of them. Other than that, they were less than five years old," said Diana Elizalde, who was on the boat.

    Crews rinsed off passengers covered in diesel fuel from the accident.

    Authorities say everyone was removed from the water and accounted for.

    According to information from the Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Lake Conroe Queen is a 60 passenger, double-deck sternwheeler paddleboat.

    A reproduction of the 1860's riverboat, the Lake Conroe Queen was built in 1986 in Grand Ledge, Michigan.

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