Police believe the incident happened because teachers of the school were irresponsible
Police have officially launched a criminal investigation into the deaths of seven students who drowned while swimming during a school excursion in Ho Chi Minh City in 2013.
Colonel Doan Van Phai, police chief of Can Gio District, said officers are trying to identify individuals who must be held accountable for their irresponsibility in the case.
The criminal probe began nearly 18 months after the incident, because police decided to wait for the school to deal with the consequences, including compensating families of the victims, Phai said, without elaborating.
Police said 96 students of Nguyen Binh Khiem Junior High School in Binh Duong Province were visiting the HCMC’s wetland and coastal district, some 50km from the city downtown, on December 29, 2013.
After having lunch, ten students went swimming and seven of them were washed away by rough seas. The bodies were found within 15 hours.
“Even though the excursion did not include swimming activities, the school staff did not take good care of their students and did not stop them from going swimming.”
“Besides, the school did not buy insurance for the students as required,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the number of child drowning deaths in Vietnam is 10 times higher than in other developing countries.
The country has 3,260 kilometers of coast and innumerable rivers and canals, but the government has been long criticized for failing to enable schools to include swimming as part of the standard curriculum.