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Thursday, 16 August 2018 - 13:46
Nile river boat tragedy : 24 children die
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At least 24 children have drowned as their boat sank in the middle of the Nile River in Sudan, according to state media, SUNA.
 
The kids were on their way to school when their boat’s engine failed then capsized owing to heavy rains and a strong current where the vessel was trying to cross a 2.5km wide stretch of water.
 
The tragedy occurred in Bouhayra in the River Nile state, about 750 km north of the capital, Khartoum.
 
"The accident was caused by engine failure halfway across because of a strong current," SUNA said.
 
According to witness Ibrahim Hassan, at least nine children survived, he told AFP.
 
The small boat was apparently past capacity when it left shore. In addition to carrying the school kids between seven and 16 years of age and the woman who worked at a nearby hospital, the small boat was filled with about 40 sacks of sweet potatoes and grains.
 
So far, only two bodies have been found, but Sudan security forces continue to search for the remains of the others.
 
"All the families [in the area] are in mourning," an anonymous witness told the AFP.
 
Ab el-Khayr Adam Yunis, the headmaster of the Kenba High School where the children attended, said the students usually walked to school but have had to go by boat for the past week due to torrential rains and flooding.
 
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