Five pupils drowned while playing near a dam in the central province of Nghe An, local authorities said.
Five pupils drown at the Trai Xanh Dam in Nghe An Province on May 30
Tran Danh Luong, Chairman of Bac Thanh Communal People's Committee in Yen Thanh District told local media on May 30 that the five pupils were found drowned in Trai Xanh Dam at 2pm the same day.
"They are all eighth-grade students of Trung Thanh Secondary School in the commune," Luong said.
"They were on summer holiday and they came to the dam to play with a group of classmates at noon that day. The other students had managed to call for help from people nearby but they were unable to save the five."
According to a student, Phan Thị B.C. who was rescued, 17 of them came to the dam to play on Thursday afternoon.
Phan Thị B.C. says that she was lucky to be saved by a friend.
At 1pm, one of our friends fell into the dam while washing her feet, and five of us jumped into the water trying to rescue her," the student remembered.
"But we failed. I was lucky when another friend reached me in time and saved me."
Many child drownings have been reported so far this summer. Authorities in Quang Binh Province reported that nine pupils drowned in a week from May 23-29 in the area.
Official figures show that more than 6,000 children drown every year in Vietnam, and the number is increasing annually.
According to the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the number of child drowning deaths in Vietnam is 10 times higher than in other developing countries.
The country has 3,260 kilometres of coast and innumerable rivers and canals, but local schools haven't been able to include swimming as part of the standard curriculum. Dtinews
Eight children drowned in a single incident last week in northern Hòa Bình Province, again raising the alarm about this epidemic that kills some 2,000 children in Việt Nam each year.
A campaign to encourage the community to practice swimming for drowning prevention will be launched on May 19 at the culture, information and sports centre of Hanoi’s Long Bien district, according to the organising board.