21 people found drowned off Haiti's north coast, 17 missing

AP News
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Posted: Apr 09, 2015 5:24 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — At least 21 people have died and 17 others are missing in a suspected boat capsizing off Haiti's northern coast, authorities said Thursday.

The group was among 50 believed to be aboard a boat that was headed north to the nearby Turks & Caicos Islands, said Jean Henri Petit, an official with Haiti's Civil Protection Department. He said survivors told police the boat encountered bad weather and tried to return to Haiti when it hit something.

The bodies began to wash ashore Thursday morning in the coastal town of Le Borgne, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Port-au-Prince, police inspector Jean Mesamours told The Associated Press.

The families of 10 of the victims had picked up the bodies, while the other 11 dead were buried in a mass grave because no one claimed them, Petit said.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are a popular destination for Haitian migrants despite authorities warning them that the voyage is perilous.