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26 Die in Dominican Boat Sinking

January 21, 2000

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ The Dominican navy said Thursday it has recovered more bodies from a migrant boat sinking earlier this week, raising the death toll to 26.

Twenty-three people survived the sinking Sunday off Bavaro, 90 miles east of Santo Domingo, navy Lt. Cmdr. Jose Torribio Gambero said. It wasn’t known how many people, if any, remained missing.

Dominican officials arrested two Dominicans accused of organizing the people-smuggling trip, Torribio Gambero said. He identified them as William Ramirez Ciprian and Bolivar Garcia.

In Puerto Rico, 75 miles to the east, police said five bodies were found Wednesday at separate points along the west coast. Police were investigating whether the victims were Dominican migrants.

Each year, dozens of Dominicans die while trying to cross the Mona Passage that separates the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. From Puerto Rico, many try to reach the U.S. mainland.

Update hourly