Death Toll May Hit 30 in Haitian Migrant Capsizing

Posted at: 11/26/2013 11:07 AM | Updated at: 11/26/2013 3:48 PM

Approximately 100 Haitians sit on the hull of a sail freighter after it grounded and capsized 15 nautical miles southwest of Staniel Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

MIAMI (AP) - A Royal Bahamas Defense Force spokesman says the death toll may reach 30 in the capsizing of a sailboat packed with migrants from Haiti.

Lt. Origin Deleveaux says Bahamian authorities have confirmed that at least 20 people died when the boat flipped over near Staniel Cay. Deleveaux tells The Associated Press that five bodies had been recovered by late Tuesday afternoon with the aid of the U.S. Coast Guard. He says they are trying to recover more by nightfall.

Interviews with migrants suggest the toll could reach about 30 people. The overloaded sailboat apparently struck a reef and capsized near tiny Harvey Cay, west of Staniel Cay in the Exumas.

About 110 people have been rescued from the boat, including 19 women.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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