Police in the Dominican Republic say two dozen Haitian migrants apparently suffocated inside a truck during an illegal border crossing.

Authorities also said Wednesday that the van was used to smuggle several other Haitians into the country and that six migrants are hospitalized, recovering from the ordeal.

Dominican authorities say the driver of the truck and his assistant are in custody.

Conflicting media reports say the Haitians died when they were thrown or jumped from the speeding van.

Despite the conflicting accounts, Dominican police say the cause of death appears to be asphyxiation (suffocation), and the bodies were left behind by the smugglers.

It is also not clear how many migrants were in the van.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.