KARTOUM, Sudan - In a tragic incident, a boat with over 40 children onboard ran into trouble after the engine failed in a strong current.
The boat, which was carrying the children to school sank in the River Nile, in northern Sudan, drowning and killing at least 24 children and one health workers.
The engine of the boat failed in the strong current as it was crossing a 2.5 km flooded area near Nile.
Amid heavy rains and strong winds in Beheir district of the Nile River state, the engine failure caused panic among those onboard.
The school’s headmaster later confirmed that the children, who were between the ages of seven and 16, began to panic, and leaned to one side which caused the boat to overturn.
Ab el-Khayr Adam Yunis, the headmaster of the Kenba High School was quoted as saying that the pupils usually go to school on foot, but had been using a boat for the past week due to flooding after heavy rain.
According to the SUNA news agency, the vessel went down around 750 kms north of the capital of Khartoum.
Further, officials noted that civil defense forces were still searching the Nile river for the bodies of the victims.
After the incident, Sudanese authorities pointed out that due to the heavy torrential rains and winds, which have destroyed hundreds of homes in some provinces, including North Darfur and North Kordofan - all schools across Khartoum had been ordered to close for the day.
Since last week, authorities in the country have stated that nearly 40 people have been killed due to heavy rains, including ten in Khartoum.