At least five children drowned on the way back from school soon after they participated in ceremonies to ring in the new academic year on Monday.
Local authorities in Ha Tinh Province’s Thach My Commune confirmed that two cousins, aged 6 and 7, drowned in a roadside canal.
The children were reportedly playing paper boats on the canal together with their friends. When they slipped into the waterway, the friends shouted for help.
A nearby resident, Le Van Vi, said he heard them and rushed to the canal but it was too late.
On the same day, three high school students drowned in Binh Dinh, also after they attended the new school year’s opening ceremony. The trio went for a swim.
According to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, about 6,400 people drowned every year in Vietnam, half of them children.