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3 killed as smuggling boat capsizes off US coast, 29 survivors rescued

San Deigo, May 4 (MNN) At least three persons were killed during an attempt to smuggle more than 30 people into the US along the coast of San Diego as their smuggling boat broke apart along a reef at Point Loma, the US Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday.

According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, three persons from the smuggling boat had died.

Of the 29 survivors taken to various area hospitals, five remained admitted as of Monday.

According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the incident began around 10 am on Sunday (local time).

The 40-foot cabin cruiser had broken apart against the rocks, following which federal and local officials launched a relief-and-rescue operation.

Preliminary checks by US Border Patrol agents indicated that all except two on board were Mexican nationals with no legal status to enter the US.

One of the two non-Mexican individuals was from Guatemala, with no legal status in the US. The second persons identified as boat captain was a US citizen and was turned over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). An investigation is ongoing.

Of the 28 undocumented non-citizens taken into US Border Patrol custody, one was an unaccompanied 15-year-old boy. Others were aged between 18-39 and included 21 men and six women.

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