Three teenage boys drowned while bathing in a river in the central province of Ninh Thuan on Sunday.
At around 7:30 p.m. four boys came to the Dinh River in Ninh Phuoc District. One of them stayed on the bank to watch his friend's clothes.
The three boys, aged 14 and 15, reportedly fell into a deep section and drowned. They did not know how to swim.
When the residents came to rescue them, it was too late.
Dinh Van Kim, father of one of the boys, said the river was originally not deep. But recently a local company has come and extracted sand from the river illegally, creating holes on the river bed, he claimed.
He said local residents had reported the illegal sand mining activities to the authorities but not much had been done.
Official statistics show an average of nine children drown every day in Vietnam, where swimming is not effectively taught in schools.