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Oyster Bay yacht accident: 3 children dead, 24 rescued

Three children are dead after a yacht capsized off Oyster Bay on Long Island, New York, during Fourth of July celebrations last night.

Oyster bay yacht accident 5 7 2012Enlarge
The yacht's passengers were pulled from the water by US Coast Guards and private boat owners. (Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images)

Three children are dead after a yacht capsized off Oyster Bay on Long Island, New York, during Fourth of July celebrations last night.

Two girls, aged 8 and 11, and a 12-year-old boy drowned in the accident, a Nassau County police spokesman told the Associated Press.

Another 24 people were rescued from the water, NBC New York reported. They are thought to have been watching a nearby firework display when the boat sank.

The 34-foot Silverton yacht capsized just after 10 p.m., according to the New York Post

Police are not yet sure what caused the accident, but believe it could have been due to a sudden thunderstorm as well as the wake created by other boats leaving the bay after the fireworks.

One witness told Newsday that he saw the yacht turn, get hit by a wave and tip over.

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Survivors were pulled from the water by coast guards, members of the local police and fire departments, and private boat owners, the Associated Press reported.

Witnesses described the scene as "complete mayhem," telling the Post that other boaters threw life jackets into the water as parents swam in frantic search of their children.

One of the victims' bodies was pulled out of the water last night, a police spokesman told ABC News. The other two were found in the sunken yacht after a long search.

Not all passengers were wearing life jackets, the officer said.

Some of the survivors were taken to local hospitals for treatment, according to Newsday; none are reported to have been seriously hurt.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120705/oyster-bay-yacht-accident-3-dead-24-rescued