Drowning claims lives of six more Vietnamese children

TN News

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Six children have drowned in three incidents over the past two days in central and southern Vietnam.

Bui Thi Anh, 13, and Cao Thi Linh, 12, from the north central province of Nghe An, drowned in a local river on Thursday morning.

They were bathing with classmates when they and one other slipped into a deep hole. An adult bystander only managed to save one.

A ninth grade boy, Pham Anh Tuan, died in another river in the province the afternoon before.

Police in Tay Ninh Province neighboring Ho Chi Minh City meanwhile confirmed that three children drowned while bathing in a canal, also on Wednesday afternoon.

They said Tran Chau Minh Tuyen, 12, entered the canal with Nguyen Nhat Lam Bi and Vo Tuan Anh, both 15. They were accompanied by three other friends who did not step into the water and survived.

Drowning deaths are common in Vietnam.

Last week three girls and a boy, all aged 13, drowned in a hydropower reservoir in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

Official figures show that more than 6,000 children drown every year 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 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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