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Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

More than 100 feared dead as boat sinks

August 18, 2005

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— A small boat overloaded with more than 100 illegal immigrants capsized and sank in rough waters in the Pacific Ocean, and only nine survivors were found, clinging to a wooden box and buoys, officials said Wednesday.

Ecuadorean Navy Capt. Armando Elizalde told Colombian RCN television most of the 113 people aboard "sank with the boat." The Colombian Navy said the immigrants' boat was meant to hold only 15 people.

The disaster that hit the boat - whose passengers were believed to be heading for the United States - occurred Friday night more than 100 miles off the coast of southwest Colombia.

An Ecuadorean fishing boat found the survivors - seven men and two women - on Sunday, Elizalde said. They were later transferred to an Ecuadorean Coast Guard cutter and on Wednesday returned to Ecuador.

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