The bodies of at least 12 children were retrieved from the Apam River in Ghana’s Central Region on Monday, with a total of 20 children feared dead in the incident over the weekend, local media reported.

The incident took place Sunday evening in Gomoa West District around 5 p.m. when the victims, aged between 14 and 17 years old, reportedly used an illegal route by a lagoon to avoid being noticed by fishermen at Apam beach to get to the other side of the beach to swim, the Graphic Online local website reported.

As they were swimming, they were swept away by a strong wave and drowned, according to the report.

Apam District Police Commander Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Moses Osakonor confirmed the incident, saying earlier that seven bodies had been found so far.

“As we speak, the lifeless bodies of seven of the children — two girls and five boys — have been retrieved and deposited at the morgue of a hospital,” Graphic Online quoted him as saying.

He cited the survivors as saying they were not sure about the exact number of children in the water when the incident occurred, noting that a 14-year-old boy who survived told police there were more than 20 in the water.

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