River Nile State — The residents of El Buheira locality in Sudan's River Nile state north of the capital Khartoum are in mourning after 22 school children and a hospital employee were drowned when a boat capsized and sank in the Nile yesterday.
The boat was reportedly taking them from El Kanisa area of El Kabna administrative unit on their way to schools in the area.
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported that the boat was carrying more than 40 students, including a group of brothers. The victims' bodies have not yet been found.
The accident reportedly occurred when the boat's engine failed in the middle of the Nile where the current is strongest. The river is currently swollen due to the rainy season, and witnesses reported that after the boat's engine failed, it hit a rock or tree trunk that caused it to capsize.
The victims have yet to be named, however Radio Dabanga has been told that the woman who was with the students is the official responsible for statistics at El Kabna hospital.
The Sudanese Presidency in Khartoum issued a message of condolence to the families, as did the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Ahmed Saad Omer who called the Wali (governor) of River Nile State, Hatem Al-Wasila Al-Sammani.
The US Embassy in Khartoum has also offered its condolences to the victims' families. Chargé d'Affaires Steven Koutsis expressed condolences via the embassy's Facebook channel.
These victims add to the mounting death toll in this year's rainy season. As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, at least 23 more people have died in Sudan in flash floods following heavy rains in the past three weeks. According to official statistics, rains and flash floods have left at least 61 others injured and displaced more than 8,900 families since July 23.
On August 1, three schoolgirls died, and eight others sustained injuries when a wall collapsed at Darelsalam basic private school for girls in the Ombadda district in Sudan's second city of Omdurman.
More than 4,000 people affected by floods in the disaster-stricken town of En Nahud in West Kordofan are still in dire need of humanitarian intervention.