Death toll at 18 in Dominican migrant boat wreck
SANTO DOMINGO - Agence France-Presse
AP photoThe death toll from the capsizing of a boat that was trying to take 70 migrants from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico has risen to 18, local press said yesterday.
Seven more bodies were recovered, after the first 11 were found following Saturday's accident, the press reports said, citing navy captain Hector Mendez.
A local civil defense official in Hato Mayor province said that so far, only 14 survivors had been taken to safety, but authorities still believe more people may have survived the accident.
The boat capsized off Sabana de la Mar, located 155 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of the capital Santo Domingo.
Survivors in a local hospital said their boat was swamped by heavy waves in rough weather, authorities said.
Illegal migration in rickety boats, particularly to the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico, is a constant problem in the Dominican Republic, where residents often seek to flee economic hardship and pursue better job prospects.