Six students drown in central Vietnam river

TN News

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Six Vietnamese seventh-graders drowned Thursday while swimming in a river in the central province of Ninh Thuan.

The deaths happened on Thursday  afternoon when the three boys and three girls, all high school students aged 13, went for a dip after class in the Lu River in Ninh Thuan's Phuoc Huu commune, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Dang Van Binh, chief of the commune's Party Unit, as saying.

The river, which is around two kilometers from their Huynh Phuoc Secondary School, is five-six meters deep.

The victims' bodies were retrieved later on the same day. Two other students in the party survived as they were sitting on the river's bank when the accident occurred, the report said.

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But the deaths of their peers have since thrown the surviving students into a "panic", the report quoted a local teachers as saying.

The  Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of child drowning deaths in Vietnam is ten times higher than in other developing countries.

The largest number of cases occur in Hanoi, the north-central provinces of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, and the Mekong Delta provinces of Tien Giang, Dong Thap, An Giang, and Long An.

The country has 3,260 kilometers of coast and innumerable rivers and canals. In this scenario, the government has failed to provide the means for schools to teach their students swimming, experts said.

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