Three sixth graders drowned in a pond in the southern province of Kien Giang Thursday morning.
An eyewitness said four boys and girls from Tan Hiep District Secondary School were playing by the pond after their physical education class when Tran Thi Ngoc Kieu, 12, Ly Son Kim and Nguyen Dai Huu, both 11, stepped too close to the water and slipped.
Ngo Chi Dung, who owns the pond, said it is between two meters and three meters deep. Dung said he had been pumping sand into the pond to reclaim land.
Local authorities said they had issued warning against playing by or swimming in the pond. However, students still came to play by the pond every day, locals said.
Police are investigating further.
On June 16, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced that nine people drown in Vietnam a day--the highest rate in Southeast Asia.