At least 24 kids on their way to school together with a health worker have drowned after their boat sank in northern Sudan.
Over 40 schoolchildren were on the boat, when its engine failed in strong current as it crossed a 1.6-mile (2.5-kilometer) flooded area close to River Nile.
The kids (ages 7 to 16) paniced and leaned to one side, then the boat overturned. Only 2 bodies have been found so far.
The headmaster of Kenba High School, Ab el-Khayr Adam Yunis, said the pupils usually went to school on foot, but had been using a boat for the past week because of flooding after heavy rain.
Those who died had mostly been girls. One family had lost 5 daughters, and another 3 families lost 2 children each, and 2 families lost 3 children each.
The telephone network had been down due to the rains, thus making it difficult for the headmaster to report the incident.
As soon as the phones had begun working, they had contacted the big towns nearby, such as Abu Hamad, Karima, Ed-Damer, but had still been waiting for help after 5 hours, he said.
The residents of the area are mostly from Manaseer tribe and have long raised concerns about flooding of their land because of the construction of controversial dam.