At Least Six Dominicans Drown in Capsized Boat
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ A boat filled with 72 Dominicans trying to immigrate illegally to Puerto Rico capsized today off the Dominican coast, and an official said at least six passengers were killed.
Dominican naval and civil defense units rescued 20 people and recovered six bodies within a few hours after the dawn accident, said Sara Toledano, assistant director of the National Civil Defense.
A search was continuing for other survivors off the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic near Punta Cana, Ms. Toledano said.
She said the wooden boat was carrying 72 Dominicans without immigration papers to the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The cause of the accident was unknown.
Every year, scores of Dominicans are killed trying to make the treacherous voyage in flimsy boats across the 90-mile Mona Passage between the Caribbean islands of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.