A tragic incident occurred in Faanaa-Bortianor, Ga South Municipality last Wednesday afternoon, resulting in the deaths of nine schoolchildren aged between one-and-half and 12 years.
The children were being transported across a canal on a canoe after school when the canoe capsized, claiming the lives of six females and three males. Eight of the bodies were recovered on the same day, while the last one, a female named Victoria, was retrieved the following day.
The remaining three individuals, including the paddler of the canoe, survived the incident. It has since been revealed that a 12-year-old boy was paddling the canoe.
The children were pupils of a private school in Wiaboman, behind Pambros, Weija-Gbawe, and were crossing the canal which separates Faanaa from Wiaboman at the time of the incident.
The Weija-Gbawe Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Emmanuel Adu-Boahen, confirmed the incident, stating that the victims had been identified, and the bodies were deposited at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Morgue for further investigations.
Following the tragedy, the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Chief Executive, Patrick Kumor, the Member of Parliament for Weija-Gbawe, Tina Mensah, the Ga South Municipal Chief Executive, Joseph Yarni Stephen, the Weija Polie Commander, Freeman Kumashie, and NADMO officials visited the affected families to commiserate with them.
Dan Bright Abayateye, the Assemblyman for the Bortianor Electoral Area, expressed his devastation at the incident, describing it as heartbreaking and something that had never happened in the area.
One of the three survivors, Enyonam Ekpe, claimed that the paddler ignored suggestions to divide the number of persons on board the canoe as it was overloaded. She said that they had no other choice but to join it as it was the only one available. Shortly after the canoe moved, it was hit by a tidal wave, causing it to capsize.
The police have commenced investigations into the incident. The tragedy has left the community in mourning, and the families of the deceased are devastated.
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