Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Boat sinks in Caribbean Sea, four dead, 28 missing

Published:Thursday | January 11, 2018 | 2:28 PM

A search has been launched  in Caribbean waters after a boat filled with Venezuelans capsized  near the Dutch island of Curaçao.

The Venezuelan authorities said a boat carrying 34 people has capsized killing four people and another 28 have been reported missing.

Regional Civil Protection director Jose Montano said the boat departed Venezuela for the Dutch Caribbean island on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, police and relatives of the surviving passengers confirmed the boat had been trying to reach the city of Willemstad in Curaçao, despite a travel ban imposed by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions after Maduro ordered a trade blockade with Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire on Friday.

Venezuelan authorities allege the smuggling of products out of Venezuela to neighbouring countries is one of the causes of the severe shortage of food and other basic products that the South American country has been facing for several years.