Dominican Boat Capsizes, At Least 8 Killed
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ A wooden boat carrying 72 people trying to immigrate illegally to the United States capsized off the Dominican Republic on Thursday and at least eight people drowned, an official said.
Dominican naval and civil defense units rescued 20 people within a few hours of 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 eight bodies were recovered from the boat, which was carrying 72 Dominicans without immigration papers to the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Cause of the accident was unknown.
Navy spokesman Col. Andres Porfirio Ortiz said another small boat carrying 13 people was seized Thursday off the east coast.
Every year, scores of Dominicans wanting to escape poverty die 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.