CAIRO (AP) — A boat sank on Wednesday while crossing the Nile River in Sudan and at least 22 people drowned, including 21 students and a woman, the country's state news agency reported.

The boat was carrying more than 40 students on their way to school in the northern River Nile state, SUNA said. The report did not say how old the students were.

The woman who drowned was an employee at a local hospital, according to the news agency.

SUNA said the boat sank after one of its engines broke down at the middle of the river. The victims' bodies have not yet been recovered, the report said.

Sudan suffers monsoon rains which regularly last from June to November and cause the Nile and its tributaries to overflow. The Nile is an important transport route for people and goods in the African nation.

One of the world's longest rivers, the Nile is formed from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which meet just north of Sudan's capital, Khartoum.