Five pupils of Victory College, Ungwan Yelwa, in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State drowned on Wednesday in River Kaduna while on an excursion.
The five pupils, including a female, whose names were obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, are Goodness Aromilade, Monday Umahi, Joseph Benedict, David Ukegbu and Priscilla Romania (female).
They were aged between 14 and 16.
Seventy three pupils of the college had on Wednesday embarked on an excursion to the Kaduna State Water Board office, located around the Kaduna Railway Station, near River Kaduna.
A source said, “The pupils were in a boat when nine of them fell into the river.”
A worker of the school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the excursion was for Senior Secondary School 2 and SSS 3, mostly science, pupils to have firsthand information on the process of water filtration and treatment.
One of the parents of the victims, who identified himself simply as Ukaegbu, said his son, David Nzubechukwu, told him on Wednesday that the school was taking them on an excursion.
He said, “I was surprised when a worker of the school later called to notify me that they went to River Kaduna that same day that I was told.
“He said the pupils were drowned and my son was one of them.
“Why did the officials of the water board allow little children to go near water without lifejackets?”
The Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Ezekiel Baba-Karik, said, “Four out of the nine students were rescued, while the other five are feared drowned.”
Baba-Karik, while speaking with journalists at the scene of the incident, said the corpses of the five pupils had yet to be recovered as of the time of filing this report, more than 20 hours after the incident occurred.
He said the agency lacked the capacity to rescue them.
He said immediately the agency was alerted to the incidence, officials swung into action and rescued four out of the nine students.
He said, “This unfortunate incident occurred on Wednesday when some pupils from a particular school came on an excursion to the Kaduna State Water Board office.
“Something went wrong technically and nine students were drowned. But as information reached us, we swung into action immediately.
“We rescued four out of the nine students an hour later.
“As you can see, our men are here to see if we can recover the remaining five bodies.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Muktar Aliyu, confirmed the incidence.
He added that the bodies of two male pupils had been recovered on Thursday.