Four children aged 8 to 14 drowned in a stream in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province on May 19, apparently when swimming after school.
A local man first discovered one of their bodies late in the afternoon. Many rushed to the Sao Stream to find the other victims.
Do Quoc Doan, a local, said he saw a teacher bought milk for the children at around 1:30 p.m.
“The accident must have happened from 2-3 p.m. It was the time of high tide and the stream could be up to 2.5 meters deep. The current was not very strong but could have been too strong for the children,” he said.
According to local police, the oldest of the four children had quit school while the other three were still studying. Their classes finished at noon.
Local people said the stream flows into the Thi Vai River with fluctuating tides.
Vietnam records 3,500-4,000 drowning deaths among children each year, ten times higher than the rates in developed countries.
The country has 2,360 rivers and canals with a total length of 41,900 kilometers (26,035 miles), and a long coastline of more than 3,400 km.