A section of the Truong River in Quang Nam Province's Bac Tra My District, where three 14-year-old girls drowned Monday. Photo courtesy of VnExpress
At least five children died in three drowning accidents across the country on Monday.
The first accident happened in the south central province of Quang Nam when a group of five schoolgirls went bathing in a river in the mountainous district of Bac Tra My.
All the 14-year-old girls reportedly did not know how to swim. Ho Thi Hoa, Le Hoang Suong and Vo Thi May slipped into a deep water area.
The two other girls rushed to scream for help.
When nearby residents arrived at the scene, the trio was swept away by the swift current.
Their bodies were recovered soon afterwards.
The second accident happened on the beach of a resort in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.
Ten students – six girls and four boys – from Doan Thi Diem Secondary School in Ninh Kieu District reportedly came to the artificial beach at the resort owned by Song Hau Tourism Joint Stock Company at around 9:30 a.m. Monday.
While the students bathed in the Hau River, four of them accidentally entered a deep-water area.
Upon hearing them scream, rescuers on the beach rushed to the site and successfully pulled two ashore. The pair has since recovered.
Two other girls, Nguyen Huynh Nhu, 13, and Tran Khanh Linh, 14, were pulled ashore by a fisherman on a boat which went past the river.
Nhu, however, was already dead.
Linh was rushed to hospital in critical condition. She is still under treatment.
The third accident claimed the life of Dang Duc Nguyen, a seven-year-old boy in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
Nguyen and six other students of Ly Tu Trong Primary School in Bao Loc Town reportedly came to a lake to bathe after school.
Ten minutes after the group bathed in the lake, there was no sight of Nguyen.
His friends ran to call nearby residents for help. More than two hours later, the residents recovered Nguyen’s body in the deep lake.
Official figures show that more than 6,000 children drown annually in Vietnam, and the number is increasing each year.
The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of child deaths due to drowning is 10 times higher in Vietnam than in other developing countries.
While the country has 3,260 kilometers of coastline, plus innumerable rivers, canals and ponds, experts have blamed the government for failing to make learning to swim part of the standard school curriculum.
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