3 children drown in pond in central Vietnam

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 The pond in which three children drowned in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai January 23 / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Three children aged seven to 10 were found drowned in a two-meter-deep pond in Pleiku town in the Central Highlands Province of Gia Lai Thursday.

Pham Cong Tien, father of Kieu Vi, 10, and Van Dong, 7, told Thanh Nien that after returning home from school that afternoon, his children had gone out with Nguyen Trong Phat, 9.

At dinner time, when he went to find them, they were nowhere to be found.

He asked his neighbors for help, and later they found the children's sandals at the edge of a pond nearby.

Some of them jumped into the water and found their bodies.

Truong Cong Thanh, a local resident, was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying that the pond was nearly two kilometers away from their houses.

He said it was one of many ponds people had dug to store water for their coffee fields, but few have barriers.

Dang Ngoc Thang, chairman of Chu Hudrong Commune, where the accident happened, said police have been told to question the owner of the pond.

He has ordered people to check all local ponds and ensure they have barriers, he added.

More than 6,000 children drown every year in Vietnam, and the number is increasing each year.

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.

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