Haiti shipwreck claims at least 21 lives, official says

At least 21 people were killed during a shipwreck near Le Borgne.

Story highlights

  • A small boat carrying about 50 migrants left from the area of Le Borgne, west of Cap-Haitien Wednesday
  • It got caught in bad weather on its way to Turks and Caicos

(CNN)At least 21 people were killed during a shipwreck off the northern coast of Haiti, the country's civil protection directorate told CNN on Thursday.

A small boat carrying about 50 migrants left from the area of Le Borgne, west of Cap-Haitien, on Wednesday night. It began to sail toward the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos when it was caught in bad weather, civil protection spokesman Joseph Edgar Celestin said.
    The vessel hit a reef and sank as it tried to return to shore near Le Borgne.
    Rescuers, most of them volunteers from the town of Le Borgne and surrounding communities, were dispatched to the scene and rescued at least 12 people, Celestin said.
    The search for survivors is ongoing, Celestin added.
    So far, 11 victims -- eight men and three women -- have been identified, Celestin said.
    Haiti's government urged migrants not to board clandestine ships and condemned those organizing these illegal journeys.