|Serepok river.— Photo giaoduc.net.vn
DAK LAK (VNS)— Four high school students died and two others were rushed to hospital after a drowning tragedy in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak's Buon Don yesterday morning.
The four victims, three girls and a boy, were sixth graders at Ea Ve Commune's Ho Tung Mau High School.
The incident is reported to have occurred when the students jumped into a reservoir at the Serepok Hydro-electric Power Plant 4 for a swim after finishing their second semester examination.
One survivor, Nguyen Thi Tuong Vi, is recovering in Buon Don Hospital after emergency treatment. The other survivor was admitted - and discharged - from hospital.
Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs' Children Care and Protection Department deputy director Nguyen Trong An told Viet Nam News yesterday that the child drowning rate was high in Viet Nam, especially in Dak Lak, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces and Ha Noi.
"Drownings usually increase at the beginning of summer as students go to rivers and lakes to cool down when they finish lessons," said An.
"Parents and teachers should be warned of the risks involved," she said. "Children should be taught swimming to save themselves and their friends from drowning," added An
According to An, the ministry had collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Training, the Youth Union to organise several campaigns to teach swimming in schools and the community.
However, the results were limited, blamed on a "lack of financial sources". Da Nang is said to be the only province in the nation that has organised proper swimming lessons for all students aged between 8 and 14.
Viet Nam has one of the highest drowning rates in the region. It is 10 times higher than in developed countries.
Each year, more than 7,000 children die form accidents and injures nationwide. Of them, between 3,500-3,600 die from drowning. — VNS