5 children drown in central Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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File photo shows three boys jumping into a river in Vietnam. Official figures show that more than 6,000 children drown annually in the country, and the number is increasing each year. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN TRI
Five children aged from 6-9 have been pulled dead from a river in central Vietnam after their river bath apparently ended in disaster on May 14.
Their parents and neighbors in Cua Viet Town of Quang Tri Province were alerted when the children, two of whom were siblings, failed to return home for dinner.
They found the kids's slippers by the Hieu River, near Cua Viet Bridge. Their bodies were found and retrieved from the riverbed after that.
Locals believed the children may have slipped into a "deep hole" in the river which was created by sand extracting activity in the area.
None of the kids could swim, according to their parents. 
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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