At least two migrants drowned early Monday after their boat capsized on the Danube river while they were trying to cross from Serbia to Croatia, police said, adding that the search for others was ongoing.
The Danube river is a common crossing point for migrants who are trying to enter EU member state Croatia from northwest Serbia on their path through the Balkans towards Western Europe.
“A boat carrying a group of migrants capsized at 6:00 am on Monday (04:00 GMT),” Serbia’s Interior Ministry told AFP in an email.
Police officers “found the bodies of two drowned people at the scene” and “searches are underway to find other possible victims of drowning” the ministry added.
Police did not specify the age, nationality or number of possible victims.
Serbia’s state-run television RTS reported that around a dozen migrants were on the vessel when it overturned under rainy weather.
Some six passengers, including two children, are missing, according to RTS.
Serbia is a key transit country for migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa who are traversing the Balkans on their way to Western Europe.
While numbers are down from the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, around 5,000 migrants are still based in Serbia, according to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.
With Hungary’s border to the north fortified by the wall it built in 2015, many migrants are now attempting the western route through Bosnia and Croatia.