42 injured as van packed with migrants overturns

A traffic accident early on Tuesday on a highway near the town of Leskovac, southern Serbia, left some 42 people injured, two with life threatening wounds.

Source: B92, RTS, Tanjug

The public broadcaster RTS is reporting that a vehicle transporting migrants turned over near the village of Donje Krajince at around 05:00 CET this morning.

There were 54 people and the driver inside the van.

According to initial reports, the migrants came from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Syria. They illegally entered Serbia and were likely headed toward the country's northern border with Hungary, hoping to reach the EU.

The Leskovac police said earlier in the day that the number of people traveling in the van is still unknown, and that those injured were receiving treatment in Leskovac and in Nis.

Head of surgery at the general hospital in Leskovac, Jovica Vuckovic, told reporters that in addition to their injuries, the illegal migrants were also hungry and exhausted, having gone without food for the previous two days.

The first to come to the aid of the migrants was a group of local villagers, who recounted finding injured people scattered around the crash site, in the bushes and in inaccessible places.

The wreckage of the vehicle could be seen this morning in a field some 100 meters away from the road. According to unofficial information, the cause of the accident was speeding.

The police also announced they were looking for the driver who had fled the scene.

The Interior Ministry confirmed that the van did not enter the country via a border crossing, something they concluded by reviewing the footage from security cameras installed on the crossings.

The license plates on the vehicle were stolen, said the MUP, adding that the migrants "most likely" entered the country from Macedonia or Bulgaria, via a location between two border crossings.


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