Migrant dies after police car chase in Croatia

A migrant died after a van smuggling her and 11 others through Croatia crashed into a river during a police chase early on Sunday.

The driver of the van refused to stop for a check and sped away, but then lost control and plunged into the Kupa river at Slatina Prokupska, 50 kilometres south of Zagreb, local police said.

The driver escaped from the van, which had German tags, and fled on foot, leaving the submerged vehicle behind.

The pursuing officers managed to drag the 12 people trapped inside from the water, but the woman later died, police said.

The driver remains at large.

A day earlier, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi was killed when a car smuggling him and 13 others crashed.

The Balkan migration route formally closed in 2016, but thousands of people still continue trying to reach wealthy parts of Europe through it.

With the borders tightly shut and police patrolling the likely paths of the migrants, many pay smugglers for an often dangerous transport.

The accident in Croatia occurred on the corridor between northern Bosnia, where hundreds of migrants wait for an opportunity to skip the border, and Slovenia.

According to migrants, human rights organizations and Bosnian authorities, migrants caught by police in Croatia are routinely pushed back to Bosnia.

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