A boat carrying about 30 schoolchildren capsized on a river in central Vietnam, leaving one boy dead and 18 others missing and feared dead, police said Sunday.

The boat was ferrying the children across the Lam River when it capsized on Saturday morning, said police officer Bui Van Dao in Con Cuong District of Nghe An province, about 190 miles south of Hanoi.

The body of the boy was recovered Saturday and authorities were still searching for 18 others ages 14 to 15, he said, adding that the other children managed to swim to safety or were rescued by villagers.

"It's been two days and there is no chance that those missing schoolchildren could still be alive," he said.

The boat's pilot was detained by police for questioning, and the cause of the accident was still being investigated, Dao said.