8 Puerto Rico inmates die after van swept away

AP News
Posted: Nov 07, 2011 6:45 PM
8 Puerto Rico inmates die after van swept away

Authorities in Puerto Rico say eight shackled prisoners drowned after a van they were being transported in was engulfed by muddy floodwaters.

Corrections Secretary Jesus Gonzalez Cruz says the accident occurred Monday in the northern coastal city of Arecibo as 10 inmates were being driven back to Sabana Hoyos Prison after court hearings.

During a torrential downpour, a stream burst its banks and rushing waters spilled over the roadway. The van apparently toppled over and was deluged by the current.

Gonzalez says two of the 10 inmates were rescued by the two guards while the van was being deluged with floodwaters.

He says the agency is in contact with the relatives of the dead prisoners, who were not immediately identified.