Local February 9, 2012 | 8:06 am

Among the worst boatpeople tragedies, 47 deaths and rising

Santo Domingo. – Rescuers found 18 more bodies Wednesday, and the number of dead rises to 47 from the makeshift boat that san in Samaná last week, and at least 25 survived, of the 75 boatpeople headed to Puerto Rico illegally.

Several of the survivors had serious burns in different parts of the body, said Samaná Civil Defense director Morayma Ramon.

She said of the bodies found near the tourist resort islet Cayo Levantado, five were in the morning and 13 in the afternoon, adding that Civil Defense, the Navy and other agencies the zone continue the search and rescue effort.

The tragedy is among the worst in a long history of illegal crossings to Puerto Rico, for which the country has had to adopt harsh penalties for organizers, up to 30 years in some cases.

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