Residents in Dong Thap Province in the Mekong Delta found the bodies of three drowned children Friday at the Tan Khanh Dong Commune in Sa Dec Town.
Several farmers spotted a pair of slippers and a bucket floating in a manmade crater used by a nearby construction site for landfill, which has become a lake due to rain and groundwater.
The farmers jumped into the water and eventually found the bodies of the three children, including siblings Nguyen Minh Quynh Nhu, 12 and Nguyen Minh Dat, 6, and their cousin, seven-year-old Dinh Ly Thu Tram.
Their grandparents said the children came to their house earlier in the day because they were on summer vacation. They said they assumed that the children had been searching for snails when they drowned.
The landfill area was created by the construction company that is currently building the Dong Khanh Hamlet residential area.
Police said they would determine if any individuals are responsible for the children's death.
Many local residents have complained that the construction company did not build barricades around the waterlogged landfill which might have prevented the children from entering it.
According to a recent report by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Dong Thap is among the top 15 cities and provinces nationwide with the most cases of child drowning each year.
More than 200 children have drowned in Vietnam so far this year, according to the Children Protection and Care Department under the ministry.
Approximately 3,500 children drown in Vietnam each year, it said.